By BELL'S palsy is understood an apparently idiopathic (genuine) peripheral disease of the facial nerve which unfortunately has been called "rheumatic facial paresis" or "paresis nervus facialis 'e frigore'."
Little is known about the disease from the standpoint of etiology; so much seems to be clear, however, that "Bell's palsy," which is far from designating an entity, has become a collective diagnosis for all cases of peripheral facial paresis in which it has been impossible to demonstrate a local causation.
The lack of knowledge has also left its mark on the discussion of the genesis of the disease, which practically has been confined to theoretic deliberations.
In 1932, however, Ballance and Duel1 began to operate on patients suffering from Bell's palsy, decompressing the facial nerve by opening the fallopian canal from the stylomastoid foramen to the lateral semicircular canal, their view being that the disease is due to edema of
KETTEL K. BELL'S PALSY: Pathology and Surgery A Report Concerning Fifty Patients Who Were Operated on After the Method of Ballance and Duel. Arch Otolaryngol. 1947;46(4):427–472. doi:10.1001/archotol.1947.00690020439001
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