We developed a new instrument, which we call a lateral releaser, to improve the safety of either a blind lateral release or lateral stretching within the TMJ We used it during arthroscopic surgery in patients with chronic painful hypomobility of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). We operated on 24 TMJs in 17 patients (15 women and 2 men). At operation, the mean increase in the interincisal distance was 22 mm (range 10-32). No instruments were broken. No serious surgical complications were reported during or after operation. Many of the patients currently have an interincisal distance exceeding 38 mm.
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