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January 1972

Reinnervation After Resection of the Facial Nerve

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Clinical Neurophysiology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen.

Arch Neurol. 1972;26(1):17-24. doi:10.1001/archneur.1972.00490070035005

In four patients with facial palsy following block dissection of the neck and total parotidectomy for malignant tumor, there was spontaneous recovery of facial motion ten months to 31/2 years later. Muscle twitching occurred around the corner of the mouth and nose on the involved side during masticatory action. The clinical findings were confirmed by electromyography before and after local anesthesia of the unaffected facial nerve. When stimulating the masticator nerve, responses were evoked in the orbicularis oris and triangularis muscles on the affected side, but not when stimulating the facial nerve. The findings suggest that reinnervation of facial muscles is due to misdirection of regenerating axons from a masticator nerve injured at the time of operation into the nearby facial muscles.

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