Osteoarthrosis of the temporomandibular joint following experimental disc perforation in Macaca fascicularis

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1988 Nov;46(11):979-90. doi: 10.1016/0278-2391(88)90335-7.


The aim of this experiment was to study the sequela of experimental temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disc perforation. Each TMJ of four Macaca fascicularis adult monkeys was surgically exposed, and a 4- to 6-mm perforation at the posterolateral portion of the avascular disc was produced by electrosurgery. Four monkeys were used as controls. The animals were killed 11 weeks (two experimental and two controls) or 12 weeks (two experimental and two controls) after disc perforation. The perforations were increased in size in five joints, and healed in one joint. In addition, two joints of one animal showed complete loss of the disc, denudation of articular surfaces, and bone-to-bone contact. In contrast to control joints, the experimental joints exhibited the following changes histopathologically: thick, highly cellular and fibrillated fibrous coverings of articular surfaces (five joints); marked hyperplasia of synovial membrane; migration of synovial cells on the surfaces of the disc and margins of perforation; multiple adhesions of disc to articular surfaces; increase in cellularity and vascularity of discs; and chondrocytic clustering in temporal fibrous covering; and osteophytes of condylar and temporal components and focal or complete denudation of articular surfaces (2 joints). Most of these changes were consistent with the diagnosis of osteoarthritis. From this study, one can conclude that disc perforation can lead to osteoarthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cartilage, Articular / injuries
  • Cartilage, Articular / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Male
  • Mandibular Condyle / pathology*
  • Osteoarthritis / etiology*
  • Osteoarthritis / pathology
  • Regeneration
  • Synovial Membrane / cytology
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / etiology*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / pathology
  • Wound Healing