Disc and Condylar Head Position in the Temporomandibular Joint With and Without Disc Displacement

Tomislav Badel, Ivana Savić Pavičin, Marko Jakaovac, Josipa Kern, Dijana Zadravec


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the difference between disc and condyle position between temporomandibular joints (TMJs) without disc displacement (DD) in asymptomatic volunteers, and patients who have DD in contralateral joints, respectively unilateral DD. Secondly, there were two TMJ groups which consisted of measurements from patients’ symptomatic DD and volunteers with asymptomatic DD. The study included 79 TMJs of 40 patients with unilateral DD. In the group of 25 asymptomatic volunteers, 20 volunteers were without DD bilaterally (40 joints), while five had DD in at least one TMJ. All subjects were examined clinically and DD was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging. Left and right TMJs were analysed independently for each participant based on their DD status (symptomatic, asymptomatic, and without DD). All asymptomatic TMJs did not have any clinical signs of TMJ functional abnormalities. There was a significant statistical difference between disc position among TMJs without DD in asymptomatic volunteers and TMJs without DD in patients (p=0.016). Moreover, no significant differences were found between condyle position in the same groups of joints (p=0.706). There were no significant differences in the DD position (p=0.918) or condyle position (p=0.453) between the group with asymptomatic volunteers’ joints and the group with symptomatic patients’ joints. There was a significant difference between patient and volunteers’ joints without DD: the disc was positioned more anteriorly in patients’ joints without DD than in joints of asymptomatic volunteers without DD.


magnetic resonance imaging, temporomandibular joint, temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome

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