Naomi’s jaw is now feeling so much better after a TMJ (jaw joint) replacement procedure

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My symptoms started with my jaw constantly clicking and causing an aching pain then led to completely locking. It was very painful, and I was unable to eat properly having to mush down my food. My jaw locked closed one morning and eventually freed up a few hours later. Eventually it locked completely whilst on holiday giving me only about 1.5cm of movement which of course made eating a challenge! My jaw had always “clicked,” and I hadn’t really thought much of it until the locking started!

I visited a local consultant who, after an X-ray and scan decided I was a complex case and recommended Mr Cascarini to me as he is the best. When discovering how badly damaged my disc was, I did feel like giving up and I expected Mr Cascarini to feel the same as that was how previous practitioners had been, but he did not. It transpired my disc had slipped and that is what was preventing the movement in my jaw. At our first consultation Mr Cascarini laid out the possible procedures and potential outcomes. We both felt optimistic about a relatively simple arthroscopy, which is a keyhole procedure to put the disc back in place.

The procedure itself worked, but during the healing process my jaw grew too much scar tissue around the joint which began limiting the movement again as It healed. As I understand it this is quite rare. Mr Cascarini attempted a couple more procedures to manipulate the joint into moving more freely (including removing impacted wisdom teeth which could have been limiting). In the end though it became clear that as it had been going on quite some time at this stage, the joint was damaging itself where it had been grinding in the wrong position. The only long-term solution would be a total prosthetic TMJ (jaw joint) replacement procedure.

The treatment, like any surgical experience, was slightly scary at first but Mr Cascarini and his team made me feel completely at ease. The procedure is obviously more complex and Mr Cascarini took great care to ensure I was comfortable with exactly what was going to be done, any associated risks and what the outcome would be. As the time for the procedure approached the COVID-19 pandemic had taken hold and restrictions meant I was unable to have anyone with me for the procedure, or the 5 day stay in hospital afterwards. Mr Cascarini checked on my every day and the staff were amazing, and I didn’t feel alone at all. He took this aspect very seriously and whilst it is unlikely to be the case for anyone else going forward, I think it speaks very highly to his character.

Mr Cascarini, his team and the hospital staff were all incredible, they each did everything they could to keep me calm and relaxed throughout my stay knowing that it would be a challenging experience alone.

The procedure was a success and I now have normal opening again from my jaw. The scarring is very minimal considering the severity of the operation. I suffered with a lot of pain in the first week or two following the procedure and this was managed with strong pain killers which meant I wasn’t particularly mobile. The rest of the recovery process was mainly rest and I was surprised how quickly I could eat properly again compared with the arthroscopy I had at the start.

Once I returned home, I took around 3 months to start feeling completely myself. My jaw is now feeling so much better! I can eat fully now which is amazing and I no longer have the worry of my jaw locking again.

Overall, I have been so grateful for the care, advice and treatment Mr Cascarini has given. My case was not a simple one and he was determined that I would be “fixed: one way or another”. I can’t recommend him enough and on top of all of the professionalism he is a genuinely nice guy!

I would say to anyone else who has been suffering with their jaw don’t give up. Mr Cascarini stood by me for 2 years and kept trying different things and different procedures and we kept going until it worked. Mr Cascarini understands the quality of life that limited opening causes and did everything to get me to the stage where I could enjoy a meal again.

February 2021