Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Temporomandibular Joint; Temporomandibular Joint Disorders -- therapy


In orthopedic literature, internal derangement is considered to be one of the main predisposing factors in the development of temporomandibular joint dysfunction and subsequent arthrosis. Internal derangement can be defined as the abnormal relationship of the articular disc to the condyle and consists of a multitude of disorders.

Physical therapy is well-recognized as an effective, conservative method of treatment for temporomandibular disorders. Early treatment to correct symptomatic internal derangement decreases the possibility of disc deformation and further joint degeneration. However, much of the physical therapy literature consists of uncontrolled case studies and focal clinical technique articles. For this reason, there is a need for well-controlled outcome studies.

The proposed review of literature will clarify current knowledge concerning internal derangement and define the role of physical therapy in its management. The review will illustrate the etiology, clinical manifestation, and progression of derangement. The current views regarding medical management will be discussed.