In their classic article on the treatment of facial palsy after destruction of the Cr. VII nerve, Ballance and Duel (1932)1 showed that reestablishing continuity of the facial nerve with a nerve graft gave superior results to the various types of nerve anastomosis which had previously been employed. As a donor nerve in their experimental animals they used the long thoracic nerve of Bell, for the idea of treating Bell's palsy with Bell's nerve intrigued them. However, they pointed out that any nerve, motor or sensory, as long as it was approximately of the correct diameter, was adequate as the donor for grafting.
Since that time the grafting operation has become a standard procedure and many nerves have been used as donors. In present-day practice a sensory nerve is used so that there is no interference with motor action in other parts of the body. Several nerves have been
ALBERTI PWRM. The Greater Auricular Nerve Donor for Facial Nerve Grafts: A Note on Its Topographical Anatomy. Arch Otolaryngol. 1962;76(5):422–424. doi:10.1001/archotol.1962.00740050434007
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