A group of 95 patients with facial paralysis in the neonatal period are presented. In 74 patients it was believed to be secondary to trauma associated with pregnancy and delivery, and in 21 to be secondary to congenital lesions. The cause, extent, and clinical course of the paralyses are discussed. A classification is outlined to help in organizing a logical and systemic evaluation plan for these patients. Patients may be divided into four groups based on the time they are seen after birth, whether the nerve is stimulable, or whether the nerve loses its stimulability. On the basis of this classification, electromyogram studies, and roentgenographic findings, a presumptive diagnosis may be made and a treatment plan formulated. The treatment plan is based on the diagnosis, facial nerve excitability testing, and degree of deformity present. If there is evidence of facial nerve disruption, a facial nerve exploration is indicated. In congenital cases, reanimation procedures may be necessary.
ASJC Scopus subject areas