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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jul 2023 - 21 Jul 2023


Human Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Orofacial/Head Pain

2023 Jun 30

J Clin Med




State of the Art in Temporomandibular Joint Arthrocentesis-A Systematic Review.


Siewert-Gutowska M, Pokrowiecki R, Kamiński A, Zawadzki P, Stopa Z


Temporomandibular joint disorders are a heterogenic group of clinical conditions, which impair physiological functioning of the masticatory system. Arthrocentesis of the temporomandibular joint has become a widely approved method for non-invasive treatment, bridging the gap between conservative and surgical approaches. Regardless of technique, treatment is based upon joint lavage and lysis of the inflammatory fibrous tissue adhesions, which, in turn, improves joint mobility and reduces pain and closed lock. Recently, approaches for intra-articular injections have been proposed as adjuvant or replacement therapy. The aim of this study was to assess the most efficient technique of arthrocentesis. A systematic search based on PRISMA guidelines, including a computer search with specific keywords, a reference list search and a manual search, was performed. Relevant articles were selected after three search rounds for final review. The studies pulled for the analysis presented information about the relevant predictors, including the technique of arthrocentesis (single- or two-needle method), fluid used for lavage (Ringer lactate or saline), volume of the fluid, application of the injectable, number of interventions, pain (VAS) and mouth opening scores (MMO) and follow-up. All cohorts showed improvement in mouth opening, but significant pain reduction was observed only in cohorts treated either by arthrocentesis alone or arthrocentesis followed by intra-articular injectables. Intra-articular injectables used alone failed to reduce pain post-operatively when compared to other cohorts. We concluded that both double-needle and single-puncture arthrocentesis techniques are equally efficient. Application of the adjuvant injectable did not improve the outcomes of arthrocentesis performed alone. The volume of the fluid used for joint lavage and its chemical composition were not significant in clinical outcomes. However, due to the lack of homogeneity in the study settings, a meta-analysis could not be applied and a systematic review was conducted. We still, however, state that there is a knowledge gap in the current literature regarding the use of injectables alone, as well as a longitudinal follow-up, which provides information about treatment efficiency. More high-quality and randomized controlled trials are required to shed light on this subject.