Hello again.....help me with this one please

I was in surgery for almost 12 hours. Can anyone tell me if they had the disk in their jaw slip out from having their mouth open for that long? My jaw doesn’t open more than an inch since the surgery…

Wow… Can’t say I’m familiar with that one. Is your jaw sore at all, or just impossible to open? The closest thing I can think of that I went through was seeing double for a month or so due to the swelling in my head. Looking back at old pictures of myself after my surgery I can tell just by looking at my face how swollen everything was. My eyes weren’t pointing in the same direction, my lips were swollen, one of my ears was pushed downward a little bit. I looked like I had been on the business end of a baseball bat. That being sad, I suppose it’s possible that either your jaw is a bit swollen from the surgery, or perhaps a nerve was damaged and/or is being pinched and it’s making it hard to move your mouth. Whatever the case, it would probably be a good idea to at least call your doctor and ask if it is something worth checking out.

PS: I did a quick search and this same up…

After Brain Surgery
You will probably wake rapidly after surgery but for the next 24 hours will be constantly watched in a special ward. If well, you will be allowed to drink and eat next day and sit out of bed. Intravenous drips and drain tubes will be removed after about 48 hours and stitches (or staples) will be taken out between 2 and 10 days later, depending on the particular operation and surgeon. Steroid tablets will be reduced gradually over several days. When everyone considers that you should be able to manage at home, you will be discharged, but will be seen for further follow-up. Return to work will depend on the underlying reason for the operation. The DVLC will usually withdraw the driving licence for 1 year after the operation because of the slightly increased risk of epilepsy after brain surgery. This risk is usually not large enough to require anti-epileptic tablets. Flying as a passenger within a couple of weeks of a craniotomy is no problem. The area around the wound is usually numb or itches slightly for up to 6 months after surgery, which is normal. For operations on the front of the head, the muscle which opens the mouth is cut and this can leave the jaw stiff and hard to open wide. This usually recovers within a few weeks. Recovery is aided by chewing gum or tough meat.

Jake- great find. I was just going to say it was probably a pinched nerve or something from swelling and having been intubated for such a long time. But that sounds like something that would explain it better.

Krystal- I would have hoped that if what Jake posted was what happened to you, that they would have TOLD you that so you would be prepared for it! Yikes! Definately talk with your docs. They are going to be able to really tell you what they did/didn’t do, and point you in the right direction to help get the movement back.

I hope you are starting to feel a little better other than the jaw issue!

Krystal, I’m a dental hygienist and when you can, you should go and see your dentist or better- an oral surgeon and have this checked. I did a bit of reading and you are right that it could be that the disc has slipped OR that there has been some damage to the muscle that controls the opening of your jaw OR maybe the nerve that supplies the muscle?? The reading I did do says that you need physiotherapy so that the muscle doesn’t stay this way. Is you jaw out of position or just very stiff? I have seen patients who have had this and the dentist does a gradual opening by putting tongue depressors one by one on top of the other to gradually open the jaw a couple of mm per day. I can ask my dentist why this has happened and can let you know but I still think you should get it checked soon if you can or even have someone phone your dentist.

Hello,

So I called my neurosurgeon and he told me that they cut the muscles in my jaw and what I am experiencing is normal and it may take me a couple of months to get my normal range of motion back. Just to be safe, I am gonna see a dentist.

Joy said:

Krystal, I’m a dental hygienist and when you can, you should go and see your dentist or better- an oral surgeon and have this checked. I did a bit of reading and you are right that it could be that the disc has slipped OR that there has been some damage to the muscle that controls the opening of your jaw OR maybe the nerve that supplies the muscle?? The reading I did do says that you need physiotherapy so that the muscle doesn’t stay this way. Is you jaw out of position or just very stiff? I have seen patients who have had this and the dentist does a gradual opening by putting tongue depressors one by one on top of the other to gradually open the jaw a couple of mm per day. I can ask my dentist why this has happened and can let you know but I still think you should get it checked soon if you can or even have someone phone your dentist.

The internet can be great… Assuming you find a relaible source of information and are applying it to the right situation, that is. I feel like a medical researcher!

Glad to hear that it is a “normal” thing and hopefully it heals quickly.

I had a very VERY similar incision. I couldn’t hardly open my jaw very wide either. I remember about a month after not being able to eat a tootsie pop because i couldn’t fit it inbetween my teeth. It’s been about 6 months since my surgery and I can open it most of the way but there is still some soreness when I yawn or try to open my jaw really wide. Let me know if you have any other ?'s… amber

Same thing happened to me, same as Amber. They cut my jaw muscles and for a really long time (months) I couldn’t open my mouth all the way. It was hard to eat with a metal fork because it would end up clanking on my teeth. Then it would sporadically open more and more, then lock again. The muscles just needed time to heal I guess. 9 months out from surgery, and it has been fine for a while now, can open all the way but is still achy when I really really open my mouth. Its stopped locking all together, maybe 3 or 4 months from sugery?