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December 1982

Speech Rehabilitation in Total Paralysis of the Tongue

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery A, Diakonissestiftelsen, Copenhagen.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1982;108(12):803-805. doi:10.1001/archotol.1982.00790600047011

• A 31-year-old woman attempted suicide by cutting her throat. In doing so, she severed the hypoglossal nerves bilaterally. The patient received full speech rehabilitation following nerve suture and logopedic training. The surgeon who is faced with deep wounds of the anterior part of the neck, especially cut wounds (due to accident, suicide, or murder), should be aware of the possibility of a severance of the hypoglossal nerve, and perform surgical exploration of the tongue later when a paralysis of the tongue has been diagnosed with the aim of doing a nerve suture. With modern technique, interfascicular suture under the microscope, not only tonus of the tongue is likely to be recovered, but also some degree of more differentiated motility that would shorten the period of convalescence and reduce the need for logopedic training.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1982;108:803-805)