Step 6 Exposing the Interarticular Spaces

With retraction of the developed flap, the joint spaces can be entered. With the condyle distracted inferiorly, pointed scissors enter the upper joint space anteriorly along the posterior slope of the eminence (Fig. 12-12). The opening is extended anteroposteriorly by cutting along the lateral aspect of the eminence and fossa. The incision is continued inferiorly along the posterior portion of the capsule until the capsule blends with the posterior attachment of the disk. Lateral retraction of the capsule allows entrance into the superior joint space.

The inferior joint space is opened by making an incision in the disk along its lateral attachment to the condyle within the lateral recess of the upper joint space (Fig. 12-13). The incision may be extended posteriorly into the attachment tissues. The inferior joint space is then entered.

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