Randomized effectiveness study of four therapeutic strategies for TMJ closed lock

Eric L Schiffman, John O Look, James S Hodges, James Q Swift, K. L. Decker, K. M. Hathaway, R. B. Templeton, J. R. Fricton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


For individuals with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disc displacement without reduction with limited mouth opening (closed lock), interventions vary from minimal treatment to surgery. In a single-blind trial, 106 individuals with TMJ closed lock were randomized among medical management, rehabilitation, arthroscopic surgery with post-operative rehabilitation, or arthroplasty with post-operative rehabilitation. Evaluations at baseline, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, and 60 months used the Craniomandibular Index (CMI) and Symptom Severity Index (SSI) for jaw function and TMJ pain respectively. Using an intention-to-treat analysis, we observed no between-group difference at any follow-up for CMI (p ≥ 0.33) or SSI (p ≥ 0.08). Both outcomes showed within-group improvement (p < 0.0001) for all groups. The findings of this study suggest that primary treatment for individuals with TMJ closed lock should consist of medical management or rehabilitation. The use of this approach will avoid unnecessary surgical procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-63
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Closed lock
  • Effectiveness study
  • Randomized clinical trial
  • Temporomandibular joint


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