The posterior double pass suture in repositioning of the temporomandibular disc during arthroscopic surgery: a report of 16 cases

J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2012 Jan;40(1):86-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2011.01.022. Epub 2011 Mar 8.


Aim: Several procedures have been described to reposition and secure the disc during arthroscopic surgery of the temporomandibular joint. The usefulness of these procedures remains controversial since simple lysis and lavage shows a high percentage of clinical success and it is difficult to obtain radiological imaging of the surgically acquired new disc position. This report describes a new arthroscopic discopexy method, and the clinical as well as radiological results obtained with this new technique.

Methods: Sixteen patients with a clinical and radiological diagnosis of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction (TMD) were treated using our discopexy method. Each patient was evaluated with a visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain, radiological and functional parameters. The evaluation also included a clinical examination. Each patient was recorded at baseline before surgery and at a one-year follow-up. Statistical analysis was performed to evaluate the differences in VAS, maximum opening and lateral movements before and after treatment and were considered statistically significant when p < 0.05.

Results: Patient evaluation showed an improvement in the clinical parameters. There were statistically significant reductions in the amount of pain according to the VAS (p < 0.01). Maximal interincisal opening (MIO) and contralateral translation movement (CTM) (p < 0.05) were substantially improved one-year after operation. In the post-surgical MRI study at the one-year follow-up, a significant improvement in the disc position was observed in 13 out of the 16 joints operated on.

Conclusion: This method of arthroscopic disc repositioning is an effective surgical method for treating symptomatic patients with a diagnosis of TMJ disc displacement. Because of the minimally invasive character of the procedure, it should be considered in the surgical treatment of TMJ dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthralgia / surgery
  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / surgery
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Care
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Suture Techniques*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc / pathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc / surgery*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult