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March 1968

Facial Nerve Decompression: Two Interesting Cases

Arch Otolaryngol. 1968;87(3):241-242. doi:10.1001/archotol.1968.00760060243004

THERE is little question in the mind of the man who limits his practice to otology of the advisability of facial nerve decompression in properly selected cases of Bell's palsy. This conviction does not seem to be shared by most neurologists and many general physicians and, in fact, is not shared by some otolaryngologists.

One of the problems involved is the matter of proving that facial nerve decompression can expedite recovery or promote a more complete return of facial function than would occur otherwise. This value of decompression can be shown experimentally,1,2 but clear-cut clinical proof is often lacking. Decompression invariably is performed on the worst cases. Often the patient is not seen by the otologist until two or three months following onset of paralysis, at a time when irreversible changes have occurred.

The purpose of this brief report is to detail two recently operated cases in which