Management of pain secondary to temporomandibular joint syndrome with peripheral nerve stimulation.


BACKGROUND Temporomandibular joint syndrome, or Costen syndrome, is a clinically diagnosed disorder whose most common symptoms include joint pain and clicking, difficulty opening the mouth, and temporomandibular joint discomfort. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is supplied by the auriculotemporal nerve, a collateral branch of the mandibular nerve (the V3 branch of the trigeminal nerve). OBJECTIVES The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness and safety of permanent peripheral nerve stimulation to relieve TMJ pain. STUDY DESIGN This case series is a prospective study. SETTING Pain Unit of a regional universitary hospital. METHODS The study included 6 female patients with temporomandibular pain lasting from 2 to 8 years that did not respond to intraarticular local anesthetic and corticoid injections. After a positive diagnostic block test, the patients were implanted with quadripolar or octapolar leads in the affected preauricular region for a 2-week stimulation test phase, after which the leads were connected to a permanent implanted pulse generator. Results of the visual analog scale, SF-12 Health Survey, Brief Pain Inventory, and drug intake were recorded at baseline and at 4, 12, and 24 weeks after the permanent implant. RESULTS Five out of 6 patients experienced pain relief exceeding 80% (average 72%) and received a permanent implant. The SF-12 Health Survey results were very positive for all specific questions, especially items concerning the physical component. Patients reported returning to normal physical activity and rest at night. Four patients discontinued their analgesic medication and 1 patient reduced their gabapentin dose by 50%. LIMITATIONS Sample size; impossibility of placebo control. CONCLUSION Patients affected with TMJ syndrome who do not respond to conservative treatments may find a solution in peripheral nerve stimulation, a simple technique with a relatively low level of complications.

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@article{RodriguezLopez2015ManagementOP, title={Management of pain secondary to temporomandibular joint syndrome with peripheral nerve stimulation.}, author={Manuel J Rodriguez-Lopez and Mariano Fern{\'a}ndez-Baena and Carlos Aldaya-Valverde}, journal={Pain physician}, year={2015}, volume={18 2}, pages={E229-36} }