I had always suffered from Bruxism since the age of 14 but around the end of April of 2019, my jaw suddenly locked, I was in extreme pain, and was barely able to open my mouth. Over the next few days, I was unable to eat properly, brush my teeth or sleep a full night’s sleep. I was referred via the NHS to an Oral Maxillofacial specialist who recommended I continue eating only soft foods, place warm wet towels on my face, exercise/meditate and stretch my jaw, and that they would see me again in 6 months’ time as they were sure by then the tension and tightness around my jaw would have subsided and I would be able to open my mouth as normal again.
I got progressively worse over the next few months, and subsequently my left side started to hurt as much as the right. I was eventually offered an arthroscopy with the NHS but that the surgery could not guarantee relieving any pain nor would it allow me to open my mouth any wider than I could.
I was in desperate need for a second opinion and after ringing a few clinics I was recommended to see Mr Cascarini. I provided results from my MRI scans which showed degenerative changes in the TMJ joint. Mr Cascarini discussed with me performing a bilateral level 2 arthroscopy with coblation to mobiles the discs and break down adhesions plus also recommending his new treatment called BMAC (Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate), which involves taking plasma from bone marrow extracted from my hip and injecting a small amount into my jaw to help reverse the degenerative damage. He explained how positive this treatment has been for others in my position and was hopeful it could do the same for me and allow me to open my mouth from the 15mm it was opening at to about 30mm.
My procedure took place end of January 2021 at the Wellington Hospital. The treatment and process were truly amazing. It was a smooth and comfortable experience from setting foot into the hospital, to the attention from the hospital staff and Mr Cascarini, through to the post op recovery before being discharged. During my post op follow up Mr Cascarini mentioned that in fact my joints and the degenerative damage was far worse than he had thought. Both my discs had slipped out of place and the left disc had in fact perforated. Had I come to Mr Cascarini a year earlier he would have offered me a full jaw replacement!
Before leaving the hospital, I was taken through what I could except post-surgery, the follow exercises I should be doing like stretching out the jaw and was given the oral device to do this. The next couple of weeks were as expected, quite painful but as the days went by the pain lessened. I was also not as swollen as I expected one to be and the scars behind close to my ears are easily hidden behind my hair.
My results have been much better than expected. I am now just about 8 weeks post op and I feel absolutely no pain at any time or when I eat. I’ve been able to stretch my jaw with the oral stretcher up to 35cm so far! My jaw no longer feels tight and tense as it used to and have not experienced migraines since having the operation. I’m slowly starting to feel like me again and I’m gratefully happy beyond belief. The scar on my hip is barely visible and at no point did I feel any pain or discomfort.
I would say to anyone suffering with TMJ conditions is please trust that there is a solution! I was completely floored when the NHS told me I had no chance of going back to a normal pain free life. Mr Cascarini not only gave me hope but he followed through and saved me from having to have complete jaw replacement! He is a professional, knowledgeable, and genuinely nice; I cannot thank him or recommend him enough for his innovative and live saving BMAC treatment.
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