Purpose: Discectomy is one of the preferred temporomandibular joint (TMJ) surgical procedures for the treatment of internal derangements when conservative and minimally invasive treatments have failed. The purpose of the current study is to investigate whether a TMJ discectomy operation influences auditory function and clinical variables.
Methods: This prospective study was composed of patients who underwent a TMJ discectomy operation between 2016 and 2020. Auditory function was evaluated with pure tone audiometry, tympanometry, and acoustic reflex tests at preoperatively (T0), postoperative first week (T1), first month (T2), and third month (T3). Clinical parameters including maximum mouth opening (MMO) and TMJ pain were also evaluated at T0, T1, T2, T3, and sixth month (T4).
Results: The study consisted of 17 patients (5 males, 12 females) with a mean age of 42.65. A significant reduction in visual analogue scale (VAS) pain scores and MMO values compared to baseline values was achieved in all follow up periods (PT0-T1= .001; PT0-T2/T3/T4 < .001). In pure tone audiometry, a significant increase in T1-T0 comparisons at 1000 Hz, 2000 Hz, 6000 Hz, 8000 Hz frequencies, and pure tone average (P = .008; P = .005; P = .012; P = .002; P = .001) was observed. In T3-T0 comparisons, a statistically significant decrease was observed in pure tone thresholds at 125 Hz and 8000 Hz frequencies (P = .008; P = .01). There was no statistically significant difference in middle ear pressure and compliance values at T1, T2, and T3 compared to T0 (P > .05). Type C tympanogram was seen in 3 patients at T1 and in 1 patient at T2. Acoustic reflex tests were positive in all patients.
Conclusions: Although mild changes occurred in auditory tests in the early postoperative period, TMJ discectomy procedure has no permanent effect on auditory function.