Purpose: This study evaluated the objective and subjective changes in a group of rheumatoid arthritic (RA) patients with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) complaints who were subjected to joint lysis and lavage. Patients and Methods: Twelve females with previous documented RA underwent baseline assessment with erythrocyte sedimentation rate, physical examination of TMJ function, and a visual analog pain scale (VAPS). The VAPS and jaw function changes were recorded at 2-week intervals for 6 weeks after lysis and lavage under local anesthesia in an ambulatory setting. Results: All patients showed statistically significant post-treatment improvement in their pain, and function was enhanced. Conclusion: TMJ arthrocentisis is a useful adjunct in the short-term management of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
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