Can Alloplastic Total Temporomandibular Joint Reconstruction be Used in the Growing Patient? A Preliminary Report

Douglas P. Sinn, Rahul Tandon, Paul S. Tiwana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Although primarily reserved for adult patients, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) total joint reconstructive (TJR) surgery is rarely used in the pediatric population due to its many challenges; it is only performed after all other non-invasive or invasive procedures have been exhausted. Although autogenous grafting has been discussed in the literature, there is very little regarding synthetic or alloplastic materials. In this study, we performed alloplastic TMJ reconstruction on 5 patients with severe ankylosis due to various craniofacial deformities and prior traumatic injuries. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective case series analysis of skeletally immature patients who received alloplastic TMJ reconstruction for recurrent and advanced ankylosis. Our inclusion criteria were as follows: less than 16 years of age, diagnosis of TMJ ankylosis, skeletally immature patients, and unilateral/bilateral total alloplastic TMJ reconstruction. We used the maximum incisal opening (MIO) changes as 1 component to assess for functional improvement. Results: Since many of these cases involved gross discrepancies from the normal variants, it was difficult to quantitatively compare the patients with one another. Nevertheless, we used cephalometric analysis to compare pre- and postoperative results on each patient. For this study, we used MIO as our primary assessment: the preoperative average for MIO was 7.4 mm, and the postoperative average 24 mm. Conclusion: It is our experience that the use of alloplastic material will not result in harm to either the growth of the mandible or patient's ability to achieve an improved MIO based on our long- and short-term results. These results demonstrate that for even complex craniofacial deformities and traumatic injuries, our patients experienced a significant improvement in MIO, 1 of the main indicators for TMJ function. We conclude that the alloplastic joint can provide a predictable pathway to restore patient's MIO and obviate the need for repeated surgeries, which can be a more challenging alternative with poorer outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2267.e1-2267.e16
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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