Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2005 Aug;63(8):1145-9.

Long-term outcome assessment for lingual nerve microsurgery.

Author information

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Dental School, Newark, NJ 07103, USA.



A retrospective study was undertaken to investigate the clinical outcomes resulting from the microsurgical repair of lingual nerve injuries. The study was based on patient chart review.


A total of 20 patients referred to the principal investigator (V.B.Z.), with a diagnosis of lingual nerve injury who underwent trigeminal nerve microsurgery during a 3-year period (1999 to 2002), were entered in this study. All patients received a complete history and physical examination, and thorough preoperative and postoperative neurosensory testing to evaluate clinical response to hot, cold, cotton wisp, vibration, 2-point discrimination, directional stroke, and fine touch as determined by Von-Frey filaments.


All patients underwent an external neurolysis procedure in combination with an internal neurolysis, neuroma excision, or primary neurorrhaphy under microscopic guidance depending on the intraoperative findings. The average time from injury to surgery was 8 months. The patients were followed for an average of 9 months after surgery, and assessment was based on the patients subjective experience as well as standardized neurosensory testing. Eighteen patients (90%) had some improvement in neurosensory function and 2 patients (10%) reported no improvement. One of the patients exhibiting no clinical improvement had a prolonged delay in seeking treatment, and the distal nerve could not be localized intraoperatively. Most patients were operated on between 2.5 and 7 months after injury, and there was no statistical difference in outcome as a function of the time from injury to repair in this group of patients. This subgroup of responding patients averaged at least 50% improvement in neurosensory function.


Microsurgical repair of lingual nerves provides moderate to significant improvements in clinical sensory function and is a useful option in treating affected individuals, especially when implemented soon after injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center