Inflammation of the tendon of the temporalis muscle can present with a facial pain that mimics temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction.


The tendon inserts into the coronoid process of the mandible.


Clinical features of temporal tendonitis:

(1) The patient has facial pain which tends to be worse with jaw movement.

(2) The pain is usually unilateral but can be bilateral.

(3) The tendon may be tender to palpation.

(4) An MRI may show enlargement of the tendon.

(5) An injection into the tendon may relieve the pain.


The diagnosis involves exclusion of other causes of facial pain. Temporal tendonitis can be present in a patient with TMJ dysfunction.


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