Arthroscopic discopexy is effective in managing temporomandibular joint internal derangement in patients with Wilkes stage II and III

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2015 Mar;73(3):391-401. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2014.09.004. Epub 2014 Sep 21.


Purpose: Disc repositioning for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) internal derangement (ID) is a well-established surgical technique with variable success. The purpose of the present study was to assess the outcomes after arthroscopic disc repositioning (discopexy) for TMJ ID.

Patients and methods: This was a prospective, cohort, single-institutional clinical study. The study included patients with TMJ ID in whom diagnostic arthroscopy had failed. These patients were presented and treated at Miami Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Baptist Hospital (Miami FL). The predictive variable was the Wilkes diagnostic categories, presented in 2 groups: II and III versus IV and V. The primary outcome variable was the absence of joint pain at 12 months postoperatively. The secondary outcome variables included joint function, maximum interincisal opening, medication use, joint loading sign, and muscle pain. The patients were followed for 1 year postoperatively. The statistical analyses included paired and independent sample Student's t test, χ(2) test, and logistic regression analysis.

Results: A total of 32 subjects (42 joints), with a mean age of 31 years, were included in the present study; 28 (87.5%) were women. Of the 42 joints, 71.4% were classified as Wilkes stage II and III. A successful outcome was seen in 69% of the studied subjects and in 86.7% of the Wilkes II and III group versus 25% of the Wilkes IV and V group (P = .001).

Conclusion: The results of the present study have shown that TMJ arthroscopic discopexy is an effective and predictable treatment of patients with TMJ ID in whom primary TMJ arthroscopy failed. Our results have also shown that patients with Wilkes II or III TMD will have the most successful outcome.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Arthralgia / prevention & control
  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / classification
  • Joint Dislocations / surgery*
  • Laser Therapy / methods
  • Male
  • Mandibular Condyle / surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Myalgia / prevention & control
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Reoperation
  • Synovectomy
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc / surgery*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / classification
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Analog Scale


  • Analgesics