Clinical vs. Arthrographic Diagnosis of TMJ Internal Derangement

G. C. Anderson, E. L. Schiffman, K. P. Schellhas, James R Fricton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Internal derangements of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) have gained increased recognition as a potential source of pain and dysfunction of the masticatory system. The objective of this study was to evaluate the reliability of clinicians in predicting an arthrographic diagnosis of articular disc position in a typical patient population presenting for TMJ arthrographic evaluation. Two clinicians utilized a brief history, clinical examination (including evaluation of mandibular movement and TMJ auscultation), and tomographic TMJ imaging in evaluating 60 patients. The radiologist subsequently performed the arthrographic procedures on 102 TMJs (18 unilateral and 42 bilateral). Diagnostic agreement was determined for all possible diagnostic categories including: Normal disc position, TMJ internal derangement with reduction, TMJ internal derangement without reduction/acute, TMJ internal derangement without reductionlchronic, and osteoarthrosis. The significance of the diagnostic agreement between the clinicians and arthrography was evaluated with a Kappa Statistical Test, which showed good reliability. For epidemiological studies, it was concluded that clinical and tomographic evaluation would provide sufficient reliability for determination of the presence and stage of TMJ internal derangement. However, in a specific clinical situation, a difficult diagnostic problem may require the use of arthrography, depending on the impact of the diagnosis on subsequent treatment decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-829
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1989


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical vs. Arthrographic Diagnosis of TMJ Internal Derangement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this