Posted by Sarah Schuman, M.S. CCC-SLP on 11/18/2020 to
Dysphagia & Oral Motor Control
TRISMUS IN HEAD & NECK CANCER PATIENTS
80-90% of patients with radiation to the pterygoid and/or masseter muscles will develop trismus.
What is trismus? What causes trismus?
Trismus is defined as any restriction to mouth opening. Radiation treatment for head and neck cancer, surgery, trauma and TMJ disorders may all lead to the development of trismus.
How do you diagnose trismus?
The average adult maximal interincisal opening (MIO) is 50mm. Clinical diagnosis of trismus is a MIO of 35mm or less. Using the 3-finger diagnostic (see above picture) it is indicated at 2-fingers or less.
Trismus complications include:
How can you prevent and treat trismus?
Exercise therapy decreases both the incidence and severity of trismus. Jaw motion rehab systems like the OraStretch® press are most efficacious.
- Includes confirmation of insurance eligibility & billing.
- Free shipping, size exchanges and 5-year limited warranty.
- OraStretch press power bands offer dynamic stretching & active resistance therapy
For patients unable to use standard bite plates, we provide adjusted bite plates for a better fit. By removing both wings or one side of the mouthpiece, we are better able to meet your patients' needs.
I am a speech-language pathologist specializing in treating Patients with head and neck cancer. I work in a robust outpatient clinic with 10-11 SLPs and PTs (1-2). We treat trismus and TMJ and are interested in an inservice on your products. Please contact me.