Okay, so I eventually get the hospital appointment at the Eastman at the TMJ clinic with Mr. Colin Hopper, an eminent maxillofacial surgeon. I am told that the most likely thing that has happened is that the disc in the jaw joint has been displaced and the solution is keyhole surgery, arthroscopy, to the jaw joint. I am told that under general anaesthetic they will look in each jaw joint, wash it out and mend any apparent damage to the disc and area. After much consideration I decide to undergo the procedure. This involves day surgery at the Victor Goldman suite at the Eastman Dental Hospital in London.
The procedure wasn't too bad, I had general anasthetic after all so what did I know! - the most unpleasant part was having to use a nasal spray as they would be incubating me via the nose rather than the throat due to the nature of the operation.
Anyway, to cut a very long story short, the operation showed that my joints were a right mess with lots of "sticky muck" in there! They were able to clean out the joints but were unable to see any problem with the disc which appeared to be in the correct position. Anyway, the final result was that they did all they could do but it didn't really make a lot of difference in the end - my mouth was unable to open any further than before.
So, I then had some further investigations - these being a CT scan and a 3D MRI scan showing the whole structure of the jaw.
The final conlcusion, after many months, was that a change had occured in the muscles that was irreversible and nothing much could be done.
I was told that there was nothing that could be done really. I was to go back regularly to the hospital to make sure that they limited opening wasn't getting anyworse and that there was no deteriation in my condition. If the opening were to start to reduce then the only thing they could do for me would be to give me a horrible operation, in the words of Mr. Hopper!, that wouldn't really be that successful anyway. They could detach the damaged muscle from the jaw, cut off the hardened, changed piece of muscle and reattach it to the jaw bone. I was told that the recovery would take a year and the finished result would be more than I had now!