Background and Objectives. Examination of the extratemporal branches of the facial nerve reveals several branching patterns of the facial nerve, indicating the variability in the course of the nerve. Due to such variance, injury to this nerve often accompanies facial trauma and surgical dissection for the repair of facial bone injuries, and it may result in high morbidity. Methods and Materials. A study of 12 fresh cadavers was performed to 1) review the variability in location of the extratemporal branches of the facial nerve, 2) identify the soft tissue injuries in which the facial nerve is at risk, and 3) discuss surgical options for repair. The authors identified the zygomatic and buccal and the extratemporal branches of the facial nerve. Among the five extratemporal branches, there is a significant crossover between all, except the temporal and the mandibular branches. This indicates that dissection should proceed with great caution, since injury to the temporal and marginal mandibular branches is unlikely to resolve spontaneously. The management of injuries within one year and those of longer duration is discussed. Results and/or Conclusions. Two of the 5 major branches of the extratemporal facial nerve have a high morbidity following injury. Repair should be performed within the first 72 hours. Graft, if required, should be placed in 9 to 12 months.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Trauma|
|State||Published - May 20 1999|
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