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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987 Sep;97(3):262-9.

Traumatic intratemporal facial nerve injury: management rationale for preservation of function.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030.


A retrospective review of 29 cases of intratemporal facial nerve injuries included 18 temporal bone fractures, 7 gunshot wounds, and 4 iatrogenic complications. Surgical exploration confirmed involvement of the fallopian canal in the perigeniculate region in 14 longitudinal and 3 transverse or mixed fractures of the petrous pyramid. Gunshot and iatrogenic injuries usually occurred within the tympanic and vertical segments of the facial canal and at the stylomastoid foramen. When hearing is salvageable, the middle fossa approach provides the best access to the perigeniculate region of the facial nerve. In the presence of severe sensorineural hearing loss, the transmastoid-translabyrinthine approach is the most appropriate for total facial nerve exploration. Grade I to III results can be anticipated in timely decompression of lesions caused by edema or intraneural hemorrhage. Undetectable at the time of surgery, stretch and compression injuries with disruption of the endoneural tubules often lead to suboptimal results. Moderate-to-severe dysfunction (Grade IV), with slight weakness and synkinesis, is the outcome to be expected from the use of interpositional grafts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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