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June 3, 1939

THE PRESERVATION OF MUSCLE FUNCTION IN BELL'S PALSY

JAMA. 1939;112(22):2273. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.62800220003010b

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Abstract

The same orthopedic principles that apply to other lesions of the peripheral nerves should apply in Bell's palsy, namely, maintenance of muscular tone until return of nerve function, thereby keeping the muscle receptive to nerve impulses if, as and when they reappear.

Most textbooks on neurology offer descriptions of the etiology, pathology and diagnosis of the lesion but are strikingly inadequate with regard to treatment. My purpose here is to describe a method of splinting some of the facial muscles. Bell's palsy may follow exposure to cold, as in sleeping in a drafty room or riding by an open window in a train or automobile. The onset is usually sudden, with pain behind the ear and in the neck. The palsy may be recognized when the patient awakens in the morning, at which time all or any one of the facial muscles may be affected. Fever may or may not

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