The surgical approaches to the temporomandibular joint have often been complicated by injury to the temporal branch of the facial nerve as well as by lines of incision which require much soft tissue dissection and retraction in order to obtain a satisfactory degree of exposure. The resulting motor weakness and facial scarring has made it desirable to design other methods for operating on the condyle and meniscus.
The first description of a transmeatal approach to this problem was given by Davidson,1 in which the anatomical feasibility of approaching the temporomandibular joint through the junction of the superior and anterior wall of the ear canal was outlined. This approach was used by Davidson for five cases of condylectomy, three cases of meniscectomy, and one case of bilateral resection of the condyle and mandibular neck for bony ankylosis of the jaw. We have modified the original operation in five recent cases