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The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical results and efficacy of arthroscopic anterolateral capsular release achieved through the use of a holmium:YAG laser or electrocautery for the management of patients with internal derangements of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).We studied internal derangement (106 joints) and osteoarthritis (46 joints) of the TMJ in 129 patients. Preoperatively, the mean mouth-opening degree was 31 mm and 129 TMJs exhibited moderate to severe arthralgia. All patients underwent arthroscopic anterolateral capsular release achieved with a holmium:YAG laser (84 TMJs) or through electrocautery (68 TMJs).At the end of each patient's respective follow-up period, which ranged from 2 to 72 months (mean, 19 months), the mean mouth-opening degree was 43 mm (P < .0001). Also during that time, 105 joints were discovered to exhibit no arthralgia and 36 had mild arthralgia. The total success rates with 2 sets of criteria were 92.8% and 95.6%.Arthroscopic anterolateral capsular release is a minimally invasive and effective surgical method for the treatment of patients with TMJ intracapsular disorders.