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The role of physical therapy in recovery after temporomandibular joint surgery

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      The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of aggressive physical therapy on the rehabilitation of patients who have had temporomandibular joint (TMJ) surgery. The control group consisted of 26 postsurgical patients who had no physical therapy, and the treatment group consisted of 24 postsurgical patients who were treated with aggressive therapy for 8 weeks. Patients in both groups had range of motion measurements taken at 1 and 8 weeks. The ratio of patients in the treatment group who achieved normal range of motion was compared with the ratio of patients in the control group who achieved it. The results showed a significantly greater range of opening in experimental than in control subjects at 8 weeks but not for lateral excursions. These results suggest that aggressive physical therapy is an important adjunct to postsurgical care for patients with TMJ.
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