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Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1992 Dec;74(6):801-10.

Magnetic resonance evaluation after temporomandibular joint diskectomy.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University Hospital, Lund.


The aim of this study was to investigate the value of magnetic resonance imaging after diskectomy of the temporomandibular joint. Magnetic resonance images were obtained before and 12 months after unilateral diskectomy without disk replacement. Magnetic resonance findings at follow-up were correlated to residual pain. At the follow-up, 20 of 28 patients were free of pain in the joint that had been surgically treated, four patients had mild pain, and four patients had significant residual pain. The magnetic resonance images at follow-up showed that the joint space was filled with soft tissue after diskectomy. In patients without pain at follow-up, this soft tissue had a magnetic resonance signal that was equal or higher than that of the muscles. In the four patients with significant residual pain and in one patient with mild residual pain, the soft tissue in the joint space between the condyle and glenoid fossa had a magnetic resonance signal intensity that was lower than the muscle. On the basis of findings in a previous study, the areas of low signal intensity were interpreted as fibrous adhesions. The study suggests that areas of low signal intensity in the joint space appear to be associated with residual pain and that magnetic resonance imaging could be a valuable tool for assessment of the temporomandibular joint after diskectomy.

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