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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 427081, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Postcraniotomy Function of the Temporal Muscle in Skull Base Surgery: Technical Note Based on a Preliminary Study

1Department of Neuroanatomy and Molecular Brain Research, Ruhr-University, Bochum, Germany
2Department of Neurosurgery, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany
3Farzan Clinical Research Institute, Tehran, Iran
4Department of Neurosurgery, University of Münster, Münster, Germany
5Department of Neurosurgery, University of Paris, Paris, France
6University of Oradea, Oradea, Romania

Received 7 August 2011; Accepted 21 October 2011

Academic Editor: James Huntley

Copyright © 2012 Amr Abdulazim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. Patients undergoing craniotomies necessitating preparation of the temporal muscle (TM) may experience postoperative functional impairment of the temporomandibular joint. This topic has not been thoroughly discussed in the literature so far. In the present study, the authors propose a questionnaire as an evaluation tool to assess to what degree different TM preparation techniques correlate with postoperative temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Materials and Methods. Between 2004 and 2006, 286 patients underwent either pterional or temporal craniotomies in the department of craniotomies at the University of Münster in Germany. Intraoperatively the TM was prepared either interfascial, submuscular, or subfascial. A patient-based questionnaire was designed and validated (Kendalls- 𝜏 = +1) in order to evaluate the patients’ postoperative temporomandibular functional outcome. Based on strict inclusion/exclusion criteria, 69 patients were eligible for the application of the questionnaire in this preliminary study. Results. Seventeen percent of the patients complained of either temporomandibular joint pain (3%) or restricted mouth opening (13%) postoperatively in a follow-up period between 3 and 12 months. In 92% postoperative complaints were reported within the first 3 months and in 58% of the patients with complaints the pain eased off. In 34% a therapy was required for the pain to be controlled. In one patient (8%) a postoperative arthroscopy has been necessary. Of the patients who experienced postoperative complaints, 67% had undergone temporal and 33% pterional craniotomy. In the group where postoperatively there were issues of temporomandibular pain/dysfunction, 42% had had the TM dissected, in 25% incised, and in 8% transected. For 25% of the patients, the type of intraoperative manipulation remained unknown. Conclusion. For postoperative quality control, the questionnaire showed to be a suitable evaluation tool. Concerning the different preparation techniques, subfascial preparation of the TM tends to result in less postoperative complaints and is thus recommended.