Surgery for TMJ disorder

Treating TMJ Disorder: Surgical Solutions for Jaw Joint Problems

Could surgical TMJ disorder treatment put an end to your jaw joint problems?

If conservative measures – including self-care practices and wearing a bite guard or stabilization splint – have failed to alleviate the pain, stiffness and dysfunction in your temporomandibular joints, one of the following three procedures may be an effective solution.

Surgery for TMJ disorder


Arthrocentesis is the least invasive surgical TMJ disorder treatment. To perform the procedure, an oral surgeon injects a sterile solution into the affected temporomandibular joint. This works to irrigate the area, flushing excess tissue and inflammatory substances out of the joint space. Arthrocentesis treatment may also include the injection of a lubricant or corticosteroid medication.

As a general rule, arthrocentesis is completed at the oral surgeon’s office under local anesthesia and, in some cases, another form of sedation. Recovery is rather quick and easy, lasting just a day or two.


Like arthrocentesis, arthroscopy – or arthroscopic TMJ disorder treatment – is an outpatient procedure performed under anesthesia at the oral surgeon’s office. But as the surgery is more complex, recovering can take a week or more.

Arthroscopy involves inserting a tiny fiber-optic camera, an arthroscope, into the temporomandibular joint space through a small incision close to the ear. Images are projected to a video monitor, where the oral surgeon can identify specific jaw joint problems. Arthroscopic treatment may include removal of loose or inflamed tissues as well as realignment or suturing of the cushioning discs inside the joint spaces.


The most invasive type of TMJ disorder surgery, arthroplasty is usually performed at a local hospital – not at the oral surgeon’s office. This is because general anesthesia is typically used, and patients often need overnight monitoring.

Arthroplasty is an open surgical procedure that allows the oral surgeon easier access to the temporomandibular joint. Treatment involves making an incision along the ear to expose the joint space, then repair of the cushioning discs and removal of bone spurs and adhesions responsible for the jaw joint problems. Depending upon the complexity of the surgery, full recovery can take up to six weeks.

Do you suffer from TMJ disorder? The professional team at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, serving the greater Indianapolis area, can evaluate your symptoms, explain your options for treatment and put you on the road to relief.

Dr. Garrison and Dr. Kelly, the highly-skilled, board-certified oral surgeons here at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, are specialists in managing jaw joint problems and have successfully treated central Indiana patients for decades. If you’re ready to eliminate the pain, stiffness and dysfunction in your temporomandibular joints, contact our Indianapolis office and schedule a TMJ disorder treatment consultation today.