The patient has just had a session of platelet rich plasma treatment for their TMJ, or temporomandibular joint pain. They are in the doctor’s office, resting a bit before they go home. What happens next?
They may find that the muscles that let them raise their eyebrow or completely shut their eye on the treated side of their face are difficult to move. This is because the painkiller that numbed the nerve to the jaw also numbed the nerve that controls the muscles of the eyelid and the eyebrow. This semi-paralysis wears off with the anesthesia.
If the patient has a splint, they should wear the splint round the clock for the first three days after their PRP therapy. After that, the patient should wear the splint only at night.
The patient’s jaw will remain numb for a while, then they’ll notice some discomfort which can be eased by painkillers. Another way to keep down swelling is to apply an ice pack. It’s recommended that the ice pack be put on for 20 minutes then removed for 20 minutes, alternating for the first day or two.
There may be some swelling and bruising, but these should go away after a few days.
Improvements in the Jaw
The patient will also notice that their upper and lower teeth don’t meet for a few days. This is a side effect of accumulated fluid opening up the patient’s jaw and preventing the teeth from touching.
If this happens, they will touch again after the body absorbs the fluid. The patient shouldn’t try to make their teeth touch but wait until they come into contact naturally.
The patient will find it hard to move their jaw at all for the first three days or so.
After that, the doctor recommends exercises to slowly increase the jaw’s range of motion.
The patient should pay attention to how these exercises feel in the jaw and not push past the point of comfort. The exercises should not be painful. If they are, the patient should stop, and wait until the pain subsides before trying the exercises again.
Be sure to discuss if specific exercises should be used as part of your aftercare treatment.
Caring for the Area
The dressing should be left over the injection site for 24 hours. After that, it can be removed with fresh dressing, which is usually just a Band-aid.
After another 24 hours, the patient can expose their jaw to the water in a bath or shower. They should make sure to apply an antibiotic ointment to the injection site whenever they change dressings.
Long Term Results
The majority of patients who had PRP therapy for their TMJ reported that they could open their mouths wider and with far less pain than they experienced before the therapy.
Contact AZ-TMJ Today
If you live in the Scottsdale and are troubled with jaw pain and stiffness that you believe may be TMJ, don’t hesitate to call our experienced medical staff at AZ-TMJ for our effective, state-of-the-art PRP treatment. Call Dr. Farrell for a consultation at 480-945-3629 today.