Surgical complications related to temporomandibular joint arthroscopy: a prospective analysis of 39 single-portal versus 43 double-portal procedures

Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2021 Aug;50(8):1089-1094. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2020.07.020. Epub 2021 Jan 22.


Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure proposed for diverse TMJ intra-articular disorders. A prospective study was designed with the aim of investigating intraoperative and postoperative surgical complications for single and double-portal TMJ arthroscopy. All interventions were performed by one surgeon with the same surgical protocol. A total of 55 patients were enrolled, resulting in 82 TMJ arthroscopies (28 unilateral and 27 bilateral). A total of 39 single portal (47.57%) and 43 double-portal (52.43%) arthroscopies were performed. No severe and irreversible complications were observed. Most complications were resolved after 4 weeks. Double-portal was associated with more complications (n=23) compared with single-portal TMJ arthroscopy (n=14), with a statistically significant difference found between single and double-portal TMJ arthroscopy in two intraoperative complications: intra-articular bleeding (P=0.044) and oedema of the preauricular area (P=0.042). This study confirms the safety of TMJ arthroscopy for single and double-portal procedures, with the authors suggesting a multicentre study, in an effort to minimize any possible bias.

Keywords: TMJ; arthroscopy; minimally invasive surgical procedures; temporomandibular joint.

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy*
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Temporomandibular Joint / surgery
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders* / surgery