Effects of four treatment strategies for temporomandibular joint closed lock

E. L. Schiffman, A. M. Velly, J. O. Look, J. S. Hodges, J. Q. Swift, K. L. Decker, Q. N. Anderson, R. B. Templeton, P. A. Lenton, W. Kang, J. R. Fricton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


A previous randomized controlled trial (RCT) by Schiffman et al. (2007)15 compared four treatments strategies for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disc displacement without reduction with limited mouth opening (closed lock). In this parallel group RCT, 106 patients with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-confirmed TMJ closed lock were randomized between medical management, non-surgical rehabilitation, arthroscopic surgery, and arthroplasty. Surgical groups also received rehabilitation post-surgically. The current paper reassesses the effectiveness of these four treatment strategies using outcome measures recommended by the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (IAOMS). Clinical assessments at baseline and at follow-up (3, 6, 12, 18, 24, and 60 months) included intensity and frequency of TMJ pain, mandibular range of motion, TMJ sounds, and impairment of chewing. TMJ MRIs were performed at baseline and 24 months, and TMJ tomograms at baseline, 24 and 60 months. Most IAOMS recommended outcome measures improved significantly over time (P ≤ 0.0003). There was no difference between treatment strategies relative to any treatment outcome at any follow-up (P ≥ 0.16). Patient self-assessment of treatment success correlated with their ability to eat, with pain-free opening ≥35 mm, and with reduced pain intensity. Given no difference between treatment strategies, non-surgical treatment should be employed for TMJ closed lock before considering surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-226
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by NIH/NIDCR grants R29DEO8668 , P30-DEO9737 , N01-DE22635 , R01 DE13421 , NIDCR's TMJ Implant Registry and Repository ( N01-DE-22635 ), and by HealthPartners of Minnesota, Medica , and by the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry Dental Research Institute and Clinical Dental Research Centre . The costs of the radiological services were offset by Hennepin County Medical Centre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The radiological and treatments costs were paid, in part, by Medica, HealthPartners of Minnesota, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota's School of Dentistry.


  • closed lock
  • randomized effectiveness study
  • surgery
  • temporomandibular joint
  • treatment success criteria


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