Abstract 3

Physical Therapy, 67;1234-1236, 1987.

Treatment of an Anterior Disk Displacement in the Temporomandibular Joint

Barbara Lafferty Braun
Department of Oral and Maillofacial Surgery
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The purpose of this case report is to describe the effects of a home exercise program and iontopherertic delivery of an anti-inflammatory agent and an anesthetic treatment of a patient with an acute internal derangement of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). A 71-year old woman was referred to physical therapy for treatment of an acute anterior displacement of the disk in the TMJ. She received two treatments consisting of iontophoretic delivery of dexamethasone sodium phosphate and lidocaine hydrochloride, and a home exercise program was prescribed. Clinical signs and symptoms were reduced after the first treatment and continued to abate during the course of the treatment. Six weeks after the treatment, her jaw range of motion remained within normal limits. She also reported being pain free and having resumed her regular diet.

?The patient reported a reduction in pain following the first treatment and continued reduction during the course of treatment.

?At the first follow-up appointment scheduled one week after the second treatment session, her incisal opening was within normal limits (40-60mm), lateral movements had remained within normal limits, and the TMJ pain was absent at rest and while eating her regular diet. Muscle and capsular tenderness to palpation was minimal. At the six-week follow-up appointment, her previous signs and symptoms were absent.

?Iontophoresis, coupled with a home exercise program, helped reduce her pain, helped increase her jaw ROM, and facilitated improved jaw function. This intervention provided symptomatic relief, and the exercise program helped promote more normal muscle function.
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