Post-op Questions

I will be 7 weeks post-op tomorrow and have a few questions for those who have gone through the surgery. I had external surgery on my left side done by Dr. Samji on the 21st of May.

  1. For those who had pain on mouth opening and limited mouth opening after surgery, how long did that last? Did you have to do any exercises to get better range of motion/decrease of pain? I have a lot of joint pain and popping. I had some of that before, but I have way more popping and a different kind of pain in the joint.

  2. Did you all have to do any neck exercises, and if so, what ones? Dr. Samji told me to do some gentle ones but didn’t really specify. I’ve been doing all the ones I know, and they don’t feel like they’re helping, and sometimes make me feel worse.

  3. I don’t mean to scare anyone thinking of doing the surgery, but I still feel awful, and I have been getting bad headaches (by the way, did anyone else get headaches?) as well as the typical neck stiffness and pain. My ear and face and under my jaw are still numb, and as I stated above, I have ear/joint pain. My question is, how do I know if I should do the other side if the first side operated on is still feeling so awful? Is there anybody who did not feel relief until after the second surgery? I know I still have a while, but I’m just thinking ahead because if I do the second side, it needs to be done by the end of the year for insurance reasons.

Thanks for any help with my questions. I’m just kind of wanting to know if I’m completely alone in some of the symptoms/feelings.

It’s so difficult because even with the same surgeon, post-op experience can still vary so much. The length & angle of the styloid processes obviously vary between us, so the effects & potential damage can be very different. Nerves can take a long time to heal, even up to a year or longer, so you will need patience, & some of your pain you had before surgery could take a while to go, & certainly the post-op numbness. (I still have a little numbness, but that’s definitely better than pain!)
I had the jaw problems, but this was only for about 2 weeks, but then I didn’t have any problems beforehand, which others have, so my experience was different. I presume you were intubated during surgery, I think a couple of members have had problems after that, when they had TMJD already. Again the neck stiffness could be maybe down to the position during surgery?
I had neck exercises to do already due to disc problem , so I waited a few weeks after surgery before I did them- very gently & slowly, with my neck supported on a pillow, I did chin tucks (lowering chin down towards the chest) & hold for 5 secs, then after that turn head gently to one side for 5 times, then repeat other side. It did seem to keep the muscles around loose as tension will just make everything worse.
I had a while to decide whether to have the second surgery; it’s a shame that you feel you have to decide earlier. The second side does often get worse after the first surgery, so it could be that it’s making your pain worse, but obviously you wouldn’t know if that’s the case unless you had that done too… it’s a difficult decision for you. All I can say is that you have an excellent surgeon, so you have the best chance of good results. Have you seen Dr Samji for a post-op follow up?
I hope that others can chip in with their experiences, but read though as many post-op stories as you can. (I’m sorry, I can’t remember the member’s name, but there was some-one not long ago who was seeing improvements still over a year after surgery)
I’ll be praying that you see improvements soon… sending you hugs :hugs: :hugs:

Thank you! Yes, I did a post-op follow up, and Dr. Samji said basically the same thing–patience. I guess I was just hoping that I would be the fortunate soul who woke up from surgery and was pain-free after years of cruel torture. Sadly, patience is my nemesis, and some days are definitely harder than others. Thanks for the encouragement and advice!

Yes, I was never patient & I think there’ve been quite a few of us who’ve set healing back by doing silly things too early! Make sure you take it easy…