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August 1958

The Surgical Correction of Aphagia Following Bulbar Poliomyelitis

Author Affiliations

From the Elizabeth Kenny Institute, Dr. Bofenkamp consultant in Otolaryngology.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1958;68(2):165-172. doi:10.1001/archotol.1958.00730020173007

The purpose of this paper is to present a surgical technique for the relief of complete inability to swallow resulting from poliomyelitis. Inability to swallow is of common occurrence in bulbar poliomyelitis, but most cases recover. I have observed only five cases of permanent swallowing paralysis in 4975 poliomyelitis admissions at the Elizabeth Kenny Institute in Minneapolis during the past seven years. Accurate figures as to the actual incidence of aphagia are not available, but information received from various poliomyelitis centers indicates that there are approximately 150 such cases in the United States. In 1951 Kaplan1 reported a single case of paralytic deglutition following poliomyelitis treated by section of the cricopharyngeus muscle. In the two cases reported in this paper a new surgical technique which proved successful in both cases will be presented.

Before presenting the case reports and describing the surgical technique the anatomy, innervation, physiology, and pathology

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