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May 1965

Idiopathic Facial Palsy: Pathology and Surgical Treatment

Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;81(5):494-496. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00750050507010

THE FACE is more frequently paralyzed than any other part of the body and the facial nerve which innervates the muscles of the face has a longer course in a bony canal than any other nerve. In a clinical lecture on facial palsy, given in 1895 at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queen Square, London, Sir William Gowers said:

Paralysis of all the muscles supplied by the facial nerve on one side only, and without other symptoms, always means disease of the nerve trunk. Practically, moreover, if it occurs without obvious disease or injury near the nerve after it emerges, it means disease of the nerve as it passes through the bone.

Now that last word "bone" refers of course to the temporal bone. This is one reason why the aural surgeon has such a particular interest in the problems presented by peripheral facial palsy. Thanks to the pioneer