Purpose: Elastic fibers in the attachment regions of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) are considered important in the movements of the disc during jaw motion. This study was designed to determine whether there are change in the elastic fibers of the TMJ when the disc is perforated for a long period. Materials and Methods: Each TMJ of five rabbits was surgically exposed, and a mediolateral perforation was made in the center of the articulating region of the disc with a scalpel. Five untreated and three sham-operated rabbits were used as controls. The TMJs were removed after 10 months and processed for histochemical demonstration of elastic fibers. Results: Osteoarthritic changes and a significant decrease in number of the elastic fibers in the anterior-inferior attachment and posterior-inferior attachment of the TMJ disc were observed after disc perforation. Conversely, elastic fibers appeared in the fibrous tissue on the resorbed bone of the articular eminence. Conclusions: Experimental disc perforation changes the distribution and density of the elastic fiber in the TMJ as well as causes osteoarthritis. A knowledge of these facts may improve our understanding of perforation of the disc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery