Liquid platelet-rich fibrin injections as a treatment adjunct for painful temporomandibular joints: preliminary results

Cranio. 2020 Sep;38(5):292-304. doi: 10.1080/08869634.2018.1516183. Epub 2018 Sep 20.


Objective: To evaluate the clinical benefits of liquid platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) in patients with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain and dysfunction.

Methods: Forty-eight TMJs in 37 patients with painful internal derangement (ID) (Wilkes' I-V) were included. Patients were injected with 1.5-2cc of PRF within the superior joint space at 2-week intervals. Pain and subjective dysfunction were recorded using a visual analog scale. Statistical analyses were done using the ANOVA test.

Results: Thirty-three of 48 TMJs (69%) showed significant reduction in pain at 8 weeks, and at 3, 6, and 12 months (Responders). Fifteen of 48 TMJs (31%) did not improve (Non-responders). The best Responders to liquid PRF injections were ID stages Wilkes' IV (78.5%) and V (100%), compared to Wilkes' I (0%), II (47%), and III (33%). A non-significant, but notable decrease in dysfunction was found.

Conclusion: Preliminary findings support that liquid PRF exhibits long-term analgesic effects in most patients with painful TMJ ID.

Keywords: Arthritis; LSCC; TMJ internal derangement; i-PRF; liquid platelet-rich fibrin; low-speed centrifugation concept; pain; tissue engineering.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations*
  • Platelet-Rich Fibrin*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Temporomandibular Joint
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders*