"Before implanting a third artificial jaw joint in Heidi Clark's head, doctors had to remove particles of plastic from the second failed joint that had broken apart and become embedded in muscle.
It was the latest of five surgeries Clark has endured that have reshaped her face, damaged nerves and added to the intense pain and depression that have marked what husband Kevin calls her "long road to hell."
Like more than 35 million Americans, Clark has a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ - a group of ailments affecting the joint connecting the jaw to the head.
While the disorder is often manageable and temporary, Clark first went under the knife in 1988 to be implanted with an unproven jaw joint device that had been allowed on the market by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Her repeating nightmare has been experienced by thousands of others." Read the full story that appeared in the November 28, 2010 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
For additional information on TMJ implants, visit our implant section.