Research Article| Volume 65, ISSUE 11, P1468-1473, November 2012

The long-term fate of pedicled buccal pad fat used for interpositional arthroplasty in TMJ ankylosis



      Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) ankylosis is a common condition in the developing countries and has been managed by interposition arthroplasty. The pedicled buccal pad of fat (BPF) has also been used successfully for this purpose. The aim of this study was to assess the fate of BPF following interpositional arthroplasty.

      Materials and methods

      A total of 23 joints were included in this prospective study (n = 18; 5 bilateral involvement). In 18 cases, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the TMJ was done at 6- and 12-month intervals to assess the viability and fate of BPF. Postoperative mouth opening and pain scores were measured at 6-monthly intervals using visual analogue scale.


      During the first 6 months, the artefacts hampered the visualisation of BPF in 60% of cases and visualisation was possible in only 40% cases. During the next 6 months, we could visualise BPF in 65% TMJs on MRI. There was significantly less pain and better mouth opening in the BPF group.


      BPF is viable after 1 year and it prevents heterotopic bone formation following TMJ ankylosis release.


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