Delayed facial nerve decompression for Bell’s palsy
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Incomplete recovery of facial motor function continues to be long-term sequelae in some patients with Bell’s palsy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of transmastoid facial nerve decompression after steroid and antiviral treatment in patients with late stage Bell’s palsy. Twelve patients underwent surgical decompression for Bell’s palsy 21–70 days after onset, whereas 22 patients were followed up after steroid and antiviral therapy without decompression. Surgical criteria included greater than 90 % degeneration on electroneuronography and no voluntary electromyography potentials. This study was a retrospective study of electrodiagnostic data and medical chart review between 2006 and 2013. Recovery from facial palsy was assessed using the House-Brackmann grading system. Final recovery rate did not differ significantly in the two groups; however, all patients in the decompression group recovered to at least House-Brackmann grade III at final follow-up. Although postoperative hearing threshold was increased in both groups, there was no significant between group difference in hearing threshold. Transmastoid decompression of the facial nerve in patients with severe late stage Bell’s palsy at risk for a poor facial nerve outcome reduced severe complications of facial palsy with minimal morbidity.
KeywordsBell’s palsy Facial nerve decompression Electroneuronography
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. 2011-0030072).
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Conflict of interest
The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.