Elastic fibres are thought to be very important for the function of various organs including the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The current study was designed to examine changes in the elastic fibres of the TMJ following discectomy. The TMJs of six rabbits were surgically exposed, and the disc removed with a scalpel. Three untreated and three sham-operated rabbits were used as controls. Complete TMJs were removed in three rabbits 1 month and in three rabbits 3 months after discectomy and processed for histochemical demonstration of elastic fibres. In the TMJ 1 month after discectomy, osteoarthritic changes and a significant increase in the numbers of elastic fibres were observed in the condyle and articular eminence. In the TMJs 3 months after discectomy, they tended to revert to the levels in the condyle and articular eminence of the control TMJs. Our results show that after experimental discectomy, elastic fibres very often appear initially in the condyle and articular eminence, but they are destined to disappear later. This information may improve our understanding of the consequences of removal of the disc in clinical practice.
- Elastic fibre
ASJC Scopus subject areas