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A Safe and Effective Way for Reduction of Temporomandibular Joint Dislocation

Chen, Yi-Chieh MD; Chen, Chien-Tzung MD; Lin, Chih-Hung MD; Chen, Yu-Ray MD

doi: 10.1097/01.sap.0000232981.40497.32
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Anterior dislocation of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a common problem which demands immediate reduction to relieve the discomfort. The most popular technique is to put the operator's thumbs over the molar teeth of the patient and push the dislocated jaw downward and backward. This maneuver takes a lot of effort and usually needs sedation. Failure to reduction is not uncommon. Furthermore, the physician has to take the risk of being bitten and disease transmission.

A novel method for reduction of the dislocated TMJ via extraoral route is presented, based on the observation that once the mandible is dislocated anteriorly, the coronoid process and anterior border of the ramus can be palpated easily over the cheek. By applying steady pressure over this prominent part, the anteriorly dislocated mandible can be reduced easily. From May 2000 to July 2005, there were 7 anterior mandible dislocations treated successfully by this method in Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. None of the patients need any adjuvant medication for sedation or relaxation. This technique is simple and effective, and the physicians are spared from the risk of bite trauma and unexpected disease transmission.

From the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.

Received May 14, 2006 and accepted for publication May 29, 2006.

Reprints: Yi-Chieh Chen, MD, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University, 5 Fu-Shing Street, Kuei Shan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan. E-mail: pschenyc@yahoo.com.tw.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.