Arthrocentesis is done by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who
uses needles to withdraw fluid from and/or inject fluid or medicine into a
joint space. Arthrocentesis of the
temporomandibular joint is used:
To treat painful and limited jaw movement
(hypomobility) or disc displacement that has caused chronic, severe pain.
As a diagnostic tool, when there
is a need to analyze joint fluid for signs of disease.
Arthrocentesis seems to work for people who have severe closed
lock of the temporomandibular joint.footnote 1
Arthrocentesis is done using
local anesthetic, with or without a
sedative. Injection of fluid into the joint can serve
Wash (lavage) from the joint pain-causing
chemicals created by the
pressure or contact between the disc and bone.
Enlarge the joint
space, making it easier to manipulate the joint gently.
At the end of the procedure,
corticosteroids or local anesthetic may be injected
into the joint. This can be particularly helpful in cases of temporomandibular disorder related to
After the procedure, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to control pain. And jaw exercises
are started during recovery.
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Tucker MR, et al. (2008). Management of temporomandibular disorders. In JR Hupp et al., eds., Contemporary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 5th ed., pp. 629–649. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.