Amelioration of facial nerve dysfunction has been variably successful and often has resulted in only gross motion. An experimental model has been developed whereby the nerve-muscle pedicle technique used to reinnervate the larynx has been modified to achieve selective reinnervation of paralyzed facial muscles.
A series of rabbits underwent facial denervation, following which a nerve-muscle pedicle was transposed to the denervated zygomaticus muscle to achieve selective reinnervation. Subsequent follow-up showed good clinical evidence of reinnervation one to four weeks postoperatively. This was confirmed by electromyographic and histologic findings. It is suggested that the nerve-muscle technique that has been used to correct laryngeal paralysis also may be applied to the selective reinnervation of paralyzed facial muscles.
Johnson J, Tucker HM. Selective Experimental Reinnervation of Paralyzed Facial Muscles. Arch Otolaryngol. 1977;103(1):22–25. doi:10.1001/archotol.1977.00780180060005
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