Background: Arthroscopic lysis and lavage of the temporomandibular joint is considered a safe and efficacious intervention for the treatment of acute closed lock. Postoperative physiotherapy is an integral part of rehabilitation and is intended at gaining full range of motion, improving function, and decreasing pain. Few publications however, have been published on the post-arthroscopy physiotherapy.
Objective: To compare the efficacy of two post-arthroscopy physiotherapy programs.
Methods: A retrospective study. During the past two years, a new physiotherapy program was implemented for patients undergoing arthroscopy at our department, and 82 patients suffering from acute closed lock and undergoing arthroscopic lysis and lavage were rehabilitated according to this program. An equal number of consecutive patients treated before the initiation of the new program with similar diagnosis and arthroscopic intervention were included in the study as control group. Both physiotherapy programs consisted of self-exercises and guided manual therapy, however differed in the time of initiation of self-exercises (immediate versus after one week), duration of each exercise (one versus five min), and number of exercises per day. The primary outcome variables were mouth opening and pain.
Findings: Patients treated by the new physiotherapy protocol exhibited a significantly more rapid rehabilitation and gaining of full range of motion compared to the patients treated by the old program. In addition, the overall success rate was higher in the new program group.
Conclusion: To achieve best results in treating acute closed lock, post-arthroscopy physiotherapy should consist of immediate mobilisation with short-duration exercises performed many times a day.
© 2017 Published by Elsevier Inc.