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Long-Term Subjective and Objective Outcome After Primary Repair of Traumatic Facial Nerve Injuries

Frijters, Erik MD*; Hofer, Stefan O. P. MD, PhD*†; Mureau, Marc A. M. MD, PhD*

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e3181591e27
Head and Neck Surgery

Although traumatic facial nerve paralysis is a severe handicap, there are no follow-up studies evaluating outcome after primary repair of traumatic facial nerve injuries. From May 1988 to August 2005, 27 patients (mean age, 27 years) were operated for traumatic facial nerve lesions (mean number of affected branches, 2.2). End-to-end facial nerve repair was always performed. All patients were invited to our outpatient clinic for standardized questionnaires (Facial Disability Index, Short Form-36 Health Survey), physical examination (Sunnybrook Facial Grading System), and clinical photographs. Sixteen patients participated in the follow-up study (mean, 9.2 years). Mean Facial Disability Index Physical and Social scores were 86 and 81, respectively, indicating good subjective facial functioning. The mean Sunnybrook Facial Grading System score was 74 indicating adequate facial functioning. Mean physical and mental health scores (Short Form-36 Health Survey) were comparable with normative data. Primary end-to-end repair of traumatic facial nerve injuries results in good long-term objective and subjective functional and emotional outcome.

From the *Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands; and the †Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Toronto, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Received August 6, 2007 and accepted for publication, after revision, August 22, 2007.

Reprints: Marc A. M. Mureau, MD, PhD, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Email:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.