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June 1969

Bell's Palsy in Pregnancy

Author Affiliations

Durham, NC
From the Department of Otolaryngology, McPherson Hospital, Durham, NC, and the Department of Otolaryngology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;89(6):830-834. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770020832008

THE MANAGEMENT OF Bell's palsy has long been a source of controversy among neurologists, otologists, and general practitioners. It is fairly well accepted, however, that the small percentage of cases showing early wallerian degeneration of the nerve should be considered for surgical decompression. The earlier these are diagnosed as showing degeneration, then in all likelihood, the better the results of decompression.

According to the definition of Kettel1, the term "Bell's palsy" is restricted to cases in which facial paralysis is the only clinical sign, and in which thorough examination fails to disclose a local cause, such as injury or infection. Bell's palsy is truly an idiopathic paralysis of the facial nerve. A summary of common causes of facial nerve paralysis is presented in Table 1.

Facial palsy in association with pregnancy is a subject not often described in the world literature and indeed, a careful survey of previously reported

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