Reviewed by Dr. DJ Lemieux, DMD

In the previous blog of our TMJ series, we walked you through the TMJ arthroscopy procedure—a minimally invasive solution to address disorders of the temporomandibular joints.

In this third blog of the series, we will discuss recovery and aftercare following TMJ arthroscopy.

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Recovery After TMJ Arthroscopy

Because of the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, recovery is usually fairly quick. That being said, it depends on the individual patient and the extent of their condition. In general, most patients can expect to:

  • Have some swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the jaw area for a few days.
  • Be able to return home on the same day as the procedure.
  • Resume normal activities, such as work or school, within a few days to a week after surgery.

Your surgeon will provide you with specific post-operative instructions and may prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort during the recovery period.

Aftercare for TMJ Arthroscopy

Here are some tips for taking care of yourself after TMJ arthroscopy:

  • Apply ice packs to the jaw area to reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • Eat soft foods for the first few days after surgery, gradually reintroducing solid foods as you feel comfortable.
  • You will have a few small incisions that will require a couple of small sutures. You can shower 24 hours after the procedure, but do not submerge your head underwater. Do not soak your face or apply a heating pad to your face until after the sutures are removed.
  • Clean the incisions with a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. Use a QTip to clean the incisions and then pat it dry with a soft cloth.
  • Use a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to keep the incisions moist.
  • Avoid strenuous activities or contact sports that could put stress on the jaw joint for at least 2 weeks.
  • You may experience moderate to severe pain in the jaw in the days following surgery. This can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication or prescription medication. Patients with parafunctional muscle activity like clenching or grinding of teeth may require a muscle relaxant for the first week.
  • Attend follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your recovery and address any concerns or questions you may have.
  • Be diligent about performing the jaw exercises provided by your surgeon.

Following these aftercare tips can help ensure a smooth recovery and better outcomes after TMJ arthroscopy.

AZ Max Oral Surgery – Your Oral Surgeons in Mesa, AZ

TMJ arthroscopy offers many benefits for patients struggling with jaw joint issues, including accurate diagnosis, targeted treatment, and faster recovery times. With proper care and follow-up appointments, you can expect to experience lasting relief from TMJ pain and dysfunction.

If you are considering TMJ arthroscopy or experiencing jaw pain and discomfort, consult with the experienced team at AZ Max Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. Our skilled surgeons specialize in treating TMJ disorders and can provide you with personalized care for optimal outcomes.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a healthier, pain-free jaw. Call or text (480) 830-5866 to book an appointment or complete the online inquiry form. If you are searching for an ‘oral surgeon near me,’ trust AZ Max Oral Surgery.

Stay tuned for our last blog of this series, TMJ Disorder Prevention and Maintenance.

FAQs About TMJ Arthroscopy

What is the success rate of TMJ arthroscopy?

As with any medical treatment, the success rate of TMJ arthroscopy can vary for each individual patient. However, studies have shown that the majority of patients experience significant improvement in their symptoms after this procedure.

What is the recovery time for TMJ arthroscopy?

Recovery time can vary, but most patients can return to their normal activities within a few days after the procedure. Full benefit and improvement of symptoms can take up to six weeks.

How long do results from TMJ arthroscopy last?

The effects of TMJ arthroscopy are long-lasting and can provide relief for many years, if not indefinitely. However, certain lifestyle factors or underlying conditions may require further treatment in the future.