Facial paralysis in temporal bone trauma

K. X. McKennan, R. A. Chole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


A retrospective review of 36 patients with delayed-onset (19 patients) and immediate-onset (17 patients) traumatic facial paralysis was performed. We hypothesized that traumatic delayed-onset facial paralysis does not necessitate surgical decompression under any routine circumstances. Of 19 patients in this group, normal recovery (House grade 1) occurred in 94 percent of the patients without surgical intervention. The small percentage (6%) of these patients who failed to recover completely demonstrated mild degrees of weakness and synkinesis (House grade 2). Immediate-onset paralysis occurred in 17 patients. It has a much poorer prognosis. Seven patients with penetrating wounds had facial nerve transections, usually of the vertical portion of the facial nerve. Closed head injured patients with immediate- onset facial paralysis sustained injuries usually to the horizontal and perigeniculate portion of the facial nerve. For those cases in which surgical exploration of the traumatized facial nerve is indicated, the operating surgeon should have the capacity to enlarge the exposure with a translabyrinthine or middle-fossa dissection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Otology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


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