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Trismus

MLC53's picture
MLC53
Posts: 109
Joined: Sep 2007

Hi everyone. It's been a while since I've posted on here. I am now 13 months post treatments. I have begun to develop Trismus and was wondering if any of you other survivors (post treatment) have had a problem with it and what you have done about it. They say that if you are going to get it that it will start showing up about 1 year post treatment. Mine did exactly that! Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Yes, MLC, I have suffered from it and continue to, to some extent. One typical cause of Trismus is radiation to the head/neck area, and that, along with the surgery I had done, caused mine to develop much more rapidly than it appears your did.

I did two things that helped immensely. First, I received physical therapy devoted specifically to treatment of this condition, and, therefore, to allowing my mouth to open wider. This was in addition to the normally prescribed speech therapy, but I must note that finding a PT who is knowledgeable in this area may be difficult. Mine, in fact, was working on her second case in me, but did a great job. I forget the exact numbers, but I started from an opening ability of about 22mm and got up to 30mm or more by the time we finished (I believe a normal expectancy is in the 40-45mm range).

I also obtained a device called a Therabyte. It was expensive, (I think it was about $400) but my insurance covered it. A cheaper alternative is to use tongue depressors to open the mouth, but I recently read a report that indicated the Therabyte was far superior in results to the tongue depressors.

It worked for me, and I still use it from time to time, not as often as I should.

The great thing about the PT, of course, is that you can take those exercises home and do them as convenient for as long you feel they are necessary.

Whichever you choose to go, know that there ARE some methods for correcting it! Good luck!

Take care,

Joe

MLC53's picture
MLC53
Posts: 109
Joined: Sep 2007

Thanks for the info Joe!

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