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Clinical Challenge
July 2015

A Woman With Trismus

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiology, Lenox Hill Hospital
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Lenox Hill–Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, New York, New York
  • 3The North Shore–LIJ Hofstra School of Medicine, Hempstead, New York
  • 4New York Head and Neck Institute, New York
  • 5Head & Neck Radiology, Department of Radiology, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, New York
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015;141(7):665-666. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2015.0722

A woman in her 50s developed severe trismus several months after treatment of a dental abscess. Approximately 10 years after onset of symptoms, she was seen by an oral surgeon who attempted mandibular release via a cervical incision. According to the patient, the surgeon was “unable to reach” the affected area, and the operation was unsuccessful. There was no other significant medical or surgical history. On physical examination, severe trismus was present with maximal interdental distance of 1 mm. The patient was brought to the operating room for excision. A maxillofacial computed tomographic (CT) examination was performed (Figure).

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