Facial Nerve palsy: the Experience at a Nigerian Teaching Hospital

  • Y B Amusa
  • O V Akinpelu
  • G H Alabi
  • M A Komolafe
  • O A Lasisi
  • E O Komolafe
  • A A Adeolu
  • S O Olateju
  • M O Olaogun
  • O O Faniran
Keywords: Bell's palsy, facial nerve palsy, otitis media, corneal ulceration


Background: We observed at our center that facial nerve palsy (FNP) presented in crops at a particular season of the year and was usually associated with emotional stress on the patient. Objective: The aims of this study were to evaluate the aetiology, and the management options for patient with facial nerve palsy in our institution Materials and Methods: The medical charts of all the patients that had FNP over the 16-year period (1988-2003) were retrospectively reviewed. The demographic data, aetiology and the management outcome of each patient were noted. The data were analyzed using SPSS Version 11 software and results were presented using simple frequency, percentages and charts. Results: There were 104 patients with a male: female ratio of 1.4:1. All age groups were affected with the peak prevalence in the third decade of life. Bell's palsy accounted for 50 (48.1%), inflammatory ear diseases 23(22.1%), trauma 14(13.5%), cerebral infarction 7(6.7%) malignancies 4(3.8%) and post grand-mal seizure in 2(1.9%). Unilateral FNP was seen in 93 (90%) of cases while bilateral paralysis was seen in 4 (3.8%). All the patients were treated conservatively and had physiotherapy. Full recovery occurred in 80% of the cases, 5% had partial recovery while in 15% the outcome was unsatisfactory. Corneal ulceration was seen in 5(4.8%). Conclusion: Bell's palsy was the most common cause of FNP in our center. There was need for surgical rehabilitation procedures in the management of FNP in this environment. This will ensure satisfactory outcome in all patients.

Keywords: Bell's palsy, facial nerve palsy, otitis media, corneal ulceration

Nigerian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology Vol. 3 (2) 2006: pp. 72-76

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