- Case report
- Open Access
- Open Peer Review
Clinical-surgical treatment of temporomandibular joint disorder in a psoriatic arthritis patient
© Puricelli et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013
- Received: 11 November 2012
- Accepted: 14 February 2013
- Published: 4 April 2013
Condylotomy is a surgical procedure that has been used as an option to treat temporomandibular disorder (TMD) patients. This technique has the advantage of avoiding intra-capsular alterations that might be found involving other surgical procedures. Its use, even when unilateral, has positive effect on treatment of both joints.
In order to better evaluate the benefits of a clinical-surgical treatment for TMD, the present report describes the case of a psoriatic arthritis patient. The case was clinically characterized by dental malloclusion, and imaging exams showed joint degeneration of the right mandibular condyle. The patient was treated by condylotomy technique after a prosthetic oral rehabilitation.
No clinical-radiological signs or symptoms of progression of articular disease were observed within a period of 16 months after surgery. Furthermore, there was functional stability of the temporomandibular joint, total absence of local pain and improvement of mouth opening.
The present study suggests that condylotomy can be considered as a valid option for the management of TMD, since it has low surgical morbidity and favorable clinical outcomes. In this case, the patient had a medical diagnosis of systemic disease presenting general pain and pain at the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), in addition of causal agent of TMD (dental malloclusion). The difficulty of finding a single etiology (malocclusion vs. systemic disease) did not exclude the indication of a clinical-surgical treatment to re-establish the balance of TMJ.
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- TMJ pain
- Mandibular condyle
Currently, between 10% to 30% of the world’s population seeks specialized care for temporomandibular disorders (TMD)[1–3], which poses one of the most challenging treatment problems in the field of dentistry. Traditionally, conservative therapy is established by means of drugs, occlusal splints, occlusal adjustments, and oral rehabilitation. Invasive procedures are indicated when conservative therapies are not able to eliminate articular pain and restore functional jaw movements. Thus, surgical maxillofacial interventions may be a better option to treat patients in the presence of pathologies such as osteoarthritis, anterior disc displacement (with and without reduction) associated with untreatable joint pain and progressive degeneration of the mandibular condyle[3–6].
The classical method of closed condylotomy is indicated for the treatment of mandibular prognathism and is based on the Kostecka’s proposal, where a high vertical oblique osteotomy is performed bilaterally. According to Banks and Mackenzie, Ward, Smith and Sommar, in 1957, proposed for the first time a more vertical and less oblique condylotomy, indicating this modified procedure for TMD treatment. Other researchers, such as Nickerson and Veaco (1989) and Upton and Sullivan (1991), have suggested changes in this technique, so that it can be used in a broader context in the field of maxillofacial surgery. In addition, it has been a consensus that the gold standard procedure is unilateral condylotomy, performed first on the most involved TMJ[3, 4]. To be effective, the condylotomy technique should include correct diagnosis and indication, preoperative procedures, and precise surgical planning. Also, the active or passive skeletal asymmetries that might interfere with the evolution and postoperative stability should be individually identified.
In relation to the surgical technique, Gerard suggested in 1996 metal fixation using the proximal instead of the distal segment reviewed in. However, the original concept of mobility between the segments remains the first option because this procedure facilitates functional adaptation even in the presence of osseous callus. The osteotomy is performed on the proximal area of the mandibular lingula followed by detachment of the medial pterygoid muscle up to 50% of its insertion. Afterwards, the muscle is inserted inferiorly in the proximal segment that contains the condyle, allowing the overlapping of the muscle over the residual mandibular ramus. Thus, there is a displacement of 3 to 5 mm of this segment assuming a more infero-posterior position, creating intra-articular spaces releasing the disc and bone-cartilaginous compression. The stabilization of fractured segments is accomplished by maxillomandibular elastic bands using orthodontic accessories, which are maintained for two to three weeks. After this period, a passive physical therapy is indicated along the presence of a stable dental occlusion. This treatment normally takes four months and is accomplished with a bilateral lightweight elastic traction that by the end of this period is only used at night[3, 9].
Psoriatic arthritis (PA) is a chronic inflammatory disease associated with skin and/or nail psoriasis. The patients generally have negative rheumatoid factor (RF) and absence of rheumatoid nodules. The predominance of PA among individuals with skin psoriasis has varied between 2.6% and 7%. This disease has the potential to be extremely severe and results in important functional disability. The severity of signs and symptoms of skin psoriasis is correlated with the emergence of PA. The articular disease manifestations occur approximately 10 years after the first signs of skin psoriasis. PA belongs to a group of inflammatory arthritis called spondyloarthropathies and shares some clinical and laboratorial characteristics with other diseases within the same group, making the differential diagnosis more challenging. The clinical manifestations of PA rarely include TMJ symptoms, which is usually bilateral causing pain and limitation of jaw movement. The treatment of PA must be multidisciplinary involving general care and dental approaches. The use of occlusal devices, physiotherapy and intra-articular infiltration are described as efficient in controlling pain symptomatology[11, 12]. In the present study, the authors propose that a prosthetic oral rehabilitation and a surgical intervention are efficient in reestablishing the functional balance of the TMJ.
Patient MBC, female, 67 years old was sent to the Dental Clinical Center of Santa Casa de Misericórdia of Porto Alegre - RS - Brazil, presenting medical history of psoriatic arthritis. The patient signed an informed consent for publication of this case report and accompanying images. This study was approved by the institutional Ethics Committee Research, is in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and follows the guidelines from the Ministry of Health resolution 196/96.
Clinical and radiographic assessment
Initial clinical treatment
In many cases, conservative treatments are able to recover a healthy condition of some patients with intra-articular diseases of TMJ but they might not be effective on others. In these cases, surgical procedures become options of treatment to restore masticatory function, reduce clinical pain[3, 9, 13], and decelerate reabsorption processes in the joint. Thus, each case has to be individualized in terms of diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic indication. CT images are an important tool during the diagnostic process due to high detection of degenerative process in the hard tissues of TMJ. Moreover, CT allows analyzing the effects of the applied therapy and comparisons before and after the treatment. In this particular case, the objective results found in CT images were able to confirm the stabilization in the condyle degeneration process. Moreover, these imaging findings were correlated to the improvement of clinical symptoms. Condylotomy has been suggested as the indicated treatment of TMDs in cases of internal disorders[14, 15]. More than a simple guided mandibular fracture, condylotomy should be seen as an indirect arthroplasty, without direct invasion of joint structure. The possible benefits from condylotomy include increase of intra-articular space, decompression of the cartilaginous tissues and improvement of the condyle inclination allowing the recapture of the articular disc[3, 16–18]. Studies by Puricelli and Upton emphasize the clinical improvement of patient’s condition and the low frequency of necessity of re-operations (common in other surgical approaches) associated with the condylotomy. Albury, in a retrospective study of 78 condylotomy surgeries in 63 patients, reported significant improvement on pain condition in 94% of patients. Hall and Werther studied the necessity of re-operation after condylotomy of 361 joints in 235 patients, and reported only 4.4% of re-interventions. Subsequently the same group, using magnetic resonance, assessed the relationship of the articular disc in 80 symptomatic cases of disc displacement submitted to condylotomy and found disc reduction after the surgery in 79% of cases.
In the present clinical case, the patient had a medical diagnosis of systemic disease presenting general pain (especially on hands and feet) and pain at TMJ, in additional of causal agent of TMD (dental malloclusion). The difficulty of finding a single etiology (malocclusion vs. systemic disease) did not exclude the indication of a clinical-surgical treatment to re-establish the balance of TMJ.
At the time of the first appointment, in the presence of articular degenerative process and unstable occlusion, there were no conditions to predict the evolution of the left open bite. In this situation, it was impossible to start any definitive occlusal treatment. After the condylotomy, the articulated segment was released allowing functional adjustments and a new tridimensional skeletal relation, functionally assisted by a rehabilitated dental occlusion. The benefic effect of condylotomy to the patient was observed clinically. For example, the skeletal asymmetry that was found during preoperative evaluation was not present after the clinical-surgical treatment. Thus, a facial harmony including skeletal-muscle symmetry and balanced occlusion was reestablished in the patient’s stomatognathic system.
The present study suggests that this condylotomy can be considered as a valid option for the management of TMD because it has low surgical morbidity and favorable clinical outcomes. Moreover, condylotomy ensures a wide space in the joint, a desirable disk-to-condyle relationship, and decreases clinical pain. Ideally, this surgical procedure is indicated after the patient has been clinically treated and the dental occlusion has been reestablished. This condylotomy has unilateral indication, preferably applied to the most affected TMJ by both symptoms and bone alterations. However, if the signs and symptoms are still present after a considerable period of time, a second intervention might be necessary on the opposite TMJ.
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