Meta-Analysis TMJ Disorders| Volume 50, ISSUE 8, P1078-1088, August 2021

Timing of arthrocentesis in the management of temporomandibular disorders: an integrative review and meta-analysis

Published:February 15, 2021DOI:


      The aim of this study was to assess the best timing to perform arthrocentesis in the management of temporomandibular disorders with regard to conservative treatment. A systematic search based on PRISMA guidelines, including a computer search with specific keywords, reference list search, and manual search was performed. Relevant articles were selected after three search rounds for final review based on six predefined inclusion criteria, followed by a round of critical appraisal. Eleven publications, including eight randomized controlled trials and three prospective clinical studies, were included in the review. The studies were divided into three groups based on the timing of arthrocentesis: (1) arthrocentesis as the initial treatment; (2) early arthrocentesis; and (3) late arthrocentesis. Meta-analysis was carried out to compare the efficacy of improvement in mouth opening and pain reduction in the three groups. All three groups showed improvement in mouth opening and pain reduction, with forest plots suggesting that arthrocentesis performed within 3 months of conservative treatment might produce beneficial results. We conclude that there is a knowledge gap in the current literature regarding the preferable timing to perform arthrocentesis in the management of temporomandibular disorders, and more high-quality randomized controlled trials are required to shed light on this subject.

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