Internal Derangements of the Temporomandibular Joint

  • James J. R. Huddleston Slater
  • Reny de LeeuwEmail author
Reference work entry


An internal derangement of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is anatomically described as a deviation in position or in form of the tissues within the capsule of the joint that interferes with smooth joint movement. Although often regarded as such, an internal derangement is not a diagnostic entity, but it is merely a description of symptoms and signs of a number of clinical problems that involve the joint. Among these clinical problems are disc condyle complex disorders, hypomobility disorders, adherences, hypermobility disorders, fractures, inflammatory disorders, crystal deposition diseases, hyperplasia, and hypoplasia.

Clinical features include a snapping or tearing sensation during mouth opening, a sensation of significant instability in the TMJ, or a significant injuring force in the TMJ area. Some patients may have more serious complaints, such as the sudden inability to open the mouth, or the occasional locking of the joint on maximal mouth opening and some may experience significant pain or discomfort. Some patients with these conditions may not require treatment, while others may cause major disturbances for which pervasive interventions are necessary. Conservative treatment is advocated for the management of disc derangements, arthralgia, osteoarthritis, and adherences, although minimally invasive procedures such as lysis and lavage (arthrocentesis) can be considered for refractory cases.


Temporomandibular joint TMJ mobility disorders TMJ inflammatory disorders TMJ fractures TMJ internal derangement Crystal deposition disorders 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • James J. R. Huddleston Slater
    • 1
  • Reny de Leeuw
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.GroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Division of Orofacial PainCollege of Dentistry, University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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