Temporomandibular joint arthroscopy in advanced stages of internal derangement: a retrospective cohort study on the influence of age


      The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the outcomes of patients with advanced internal derangement of the temporomandibular joint who underwent operative arthroscopy, according to age stratified into two groups: <45 years and ≥45 years. The study included a series of 194 patients. Outcome variables were pain intensity and mandibular mobility. Additionally, the difference in arthroscopic findings in these age groups was studied. The data analysis included the paired t-test, χ2 test, and two-way analysis of variance, with a P-value <0.05 indicating statistical significance. A significant reduction in pain and an improvement in maximum inter-incisal opening (MIO) was observed in both groups starting at 1 month of follow-up (P < 0.01). However, the results for MIO were worse in the ≥ 45 years group (P = 0.036) at 12- and 18-months follow-up. Regarding arthroscopic findings, the study showed a higher prevalence of severe chondromalacia in the ≥45 years group (P = 0.031) and disc displacement without reduction in the <45 years group (P = 0.020). Analysis of variance showed a greater pain reduction if no obliteration of the articular space was observed (P = 0.039). In young and older patients, operative arthroscopy can be useful for short-term treatment in advanced stages of internal derangement of the temporomandibular joint.

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