TMjoint surgery is to be done when all conservative treatments are ineffective. This happens in 5% or less of the cases. You daughter should find an experienced TMJ specialist to help her. Surgery success is barely more than 50% according to the studies--not a great record and too invasive for first line treatment. TMJDoc
The 'Gold Standard' for diagnostic imaging of the TMjoint is now the MRI. Properly done it will gives us a great view of the soft and hard tissues of the joint. You need to have an MRI tech that knows how to do them, a TMJ specialist that knows what to order, and a radiologist to work with that knows how to read them--some have limited training in that area. This is much less invasive than an arthrogram, and much more comfortable to patient. TMJDoc
My daughter has suffered from TMJ since she was 4 yrs old. After several years of trying everything, we finally took her to a DMD, MD who gave her a test called an arthogram. It is when the dr injects a dye in the TM joint and takes pictures. He found that her disc on each side of the TMJ was out of position. Subsequently she had surgery 6 years ago. The surgery helped a little, until she was injured on one side of her face and the severe headaches continued. She had a 2nd surgery and the dr cleared away scar tissue build up. She still suffers from severe headaches on the other side, to the point of throwing up from pain. She is now 21 and doesn't want to have surgery. But I would suggest that you ask about having an Arthogram done to find out the extent of the TMJ problems that you do have. ~~Peggy
Seeing an orofacial pain or competent tmj specialist is advised.