Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A procedure to help with my jaw pain

I had a 10 week post op visit today. Basically the surgeon said he'd expected my jaw pain to be gone and my mouth opening to be quite big by now. My pain is as bad as ever and the opening is barely 2 fingers. So this Friday he will perform 'arthrocentesis' (also known as lavage) on my sore joint. This is because my displaced disc has become jammed, he said. Sometimes it gets suction-cupped onto something and it needs to have the suction broken.

He said the jaw exercises I've been doing so diligently are probably just aggravating it (it feels that way, too).

I nearly cried when I heard this but now I feel okay, and hopeful it will relieve my pain at nights, which sometimes feels like it couldn't be much worse to have a knife stabbed in there. He said it always works, but it's not always permanent. I am determined it will be!

So I will have it done in his office under IV sedation (which will be a new experience for me). He'll inject local anaesthetic then flush out the joint with saline via a needle (no cuts to my skin). He'll also manipulate the joint to try to get everything in place and inject steroid in there to knock back the inflammation. It's very non-invasive (just fluids squirted around, really) and there are no side effects apart from possibly a funny eye that evening.

The relief should be instant. I NEED that. Currently I have to sleep on my back all the time because it's so painful for my joint when I on my side, but this nearly kills my back. I consulted a physiotherapist today who is certain I have a 'tilted' pelvis, which I can get away with when I sleep on my side. But tilted pelvises complain bitterly when slept on from behind. Presumably it kind of makes the pelvis go straight when it's not really. I will be getting some help for this.

Also my bite will align itself nicely (which it does now at night anyway).

Another bit of wisdom the phsyio told me: the body's metabolism, which usually washes away swelling at a certain rate, is at its slowest at about 2-3am. This leaves things like injured joints more swollen and therefore sore. And tissues around cut bones etc too, I guess, for those fresh out of surgery who wake up at night.

I note that I have some new followers. Exciting! Hello out there!

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