Few deformities of the maxillofacial region present with such a wide constellation of symptoms and clinical findings as ankylosis of the temporomandibular joint. Pain, swelling, disruption of diet and speech, airway complications, and the creation of cosmetic deformities all can result from this severe defect of the mandibular zygomatic complex. The basic surgical goals for correction of this deformity are threefold: to free up the ankylosis, to return the patient to function, and to prevent recurrence. The last 2 of these 3 goals are usually dependent on placement of an interpositional barrier following release of the fibrous or bony fusion that can be either prosthetic or tissue borne.
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The author is a paid consultant for Biomet Microfixation, 1520 Tradeport Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32218.
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