Outcome of facial physiotherapy in patients with prolonged idiopathic facial palsy

 Watson G, Glover S, Allen S, Irving R; Journal of Laryngology & Otology 1-5 (Mar 2015)
OBJECTIVE This study investigated whether patients who remain symptomatic more than a year following idiopathic facial paralysis gain benefit from tailored facial physiotherapy.

METHODS A two-year retrospective review was conducted of all symptomatic patients. Data collected included: age, gender, duration of symptoms, Sunnybrook facial grading system scores pre-treatment and at last visit, and duration of treatment.
RESULTS The study comprised 22 patients (with a mean age of 50.5 years (range, 22-75 years)) who had been symptomatic for more than a year following idiopathic facial paralysis. The mean duration of symptoms was 45 months (range, 12-240 months). The mean duration of follow up was 10.4 months (range, 2-36 months). Prior to treatment, the mean Sunnybrook facial grading system score was 59 (standard deviation = 3.5); this had increased to 83 (standard deviation = 2.7) at the last visit, with an average improvement in score of 23 (standard deviation = 2.9). This increase was significant (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION Tailored facial therapy can improve facial grading scores in patients who remain symptomatic for prolonged periods.