Hypoglossal-facial nerve anastomosis and rehabilitation in patients with complete facial palsy: Cohort study of 30 patients followed up for three years

Elena Dalla Toffola, Chiara Pavese, Miriam Cecini, Lucia Petrucci, Susanna Ricotti, Maurizio Bejor, Grazia Salimbeni, Federico Biglioli, Catherine Klersy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Our study evaluates the grade and timing of recovery in 30 patients with complete facial paralysis (House- Brackmann grade VI) treated with hypoglossal-facial nerve (XII-VII) anastomosis and a long-term rehabilitation program, consisting of exercises in facial muscle activation mediated by tongue movement and synkinesis control with mirror feedback.

Reinnervation after XII-VII anastomosis occurred in 29 patients, on average 5.4 months after surgery. Three years after the anastomosis, 23.3% of patients had grade II, 53.3% grade III, 20% grade IV and 3.3% grade VI ratings on the House-Brackmann scale. Time to reinnervation was associated with the final House-Brackmann grade. Our study demonstrates that patients undergoing XIIVII anastomosis and a long-term rehabilitation program display a significant recovery of facial symmetry and movement. The recovery continues for at least three years after the anastomosis, meaning that prolonged follow-up of these patients is advisable. KEY WORDS facial nerve, facial palsy, hypoglossal-facial nerve anastomosis, mirror feedback, rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-187
Number of pages5
JournalFunctional Neurology
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2014

Keywords

  • Facial nerve
  • Facial palsy
  • Hypoglossal-facial nerve anastomosis
  • Mirror feedback
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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