Arthrocentesis is often the first surgical procedure that will be done for a patient who has a displaced disc. It can be done as an in-office procedure and involves merely the placement of two hyperdermic needles into the joint. The procedure is done in-office under IV sedation.
During the procedure, the needles are placed into the joint and it is flushed with a sterile lactated Ringers solution. The purpose of this procedure is to remove tissue breakdown products and reduce inflammation. Dr. Sanovich will also manipulate the jaw to remove scar tissue adhesions that may have formed. At the end of the procedure, he injects medications such as steroids or growth factors into the joint.
The patient is sent home a few hours after the procedure and their joint and the surrounding area will be numb. The patient might have some swelling for a few days; however, most people are back at work after two to three days. There are generally limits to jaw activity and we will provide a jaw exercise program. The patient may be told to maintain a soft diet for a little while.