Neuropathy of the facial nerve. Treatment with shock wave therapy at the Awatage medical center
Neuropathy (neuritis) of the facial nerve is a defeat of the VII pair of cranial nerves, manifested by weakness (paresis) of the facial muscles on one side. This disease is quite common. The incidence of acute neuropathy of the facial nerve is 20-30 cases per 100 thousand population per year. Men and women of all ages suffer equally.
The cause of the disease is very often a viral infection, especially the herpes simplex virus. Hypothermia can be a provoking factor. Also, the factors contributing to the development of neuropathy of the facial nerve include:
- traumatic brain injury,
- inflammatory processes in the middle ear (otitis media, etc.),
- arterial hypertension,
- burdened by heredity for this disease.
Rarely, neuropathy of the facial nerve can be the first manifestation of multiple sclerosis. Causes of nerve damage such as tumor, neurosyphilis, brucellosis, leptospirosis and other infectious diseases are very rare.
Before leaving the cranial cavity, the facial nerve is located in an anatomically narrow and tortuous bone canal. Under the influence of triggering factors, local edema develops, which easily leads to compression (compression) and ischemia (oxygen starvation) of the nervous tissue, as a result of which the function of the facial nerve is disrupted.
The clinic of the neurosis of the facial nerve is quite typical and noticeable even to a non-specialist. Due to the weakness of the facial muscles, the patient is unable to raise an eyebrow, close his eyes, puff out his cheek, when the teeth bare, the mouth slit is pulled to the healthy side. When you close your eyelids, they do not close. Speech may become somewhat slurred, and chewing is difficult. Depending on the level of nerve damage with paralysis of the facial muscles, hyperacusis (painful perception of sounds on the affected side), impaired lacrimation and taste in the front 2/3 of the tongue may be noted. In most cases, neuropathy of the facial nerve develops acutely, the weakness of the facial muscles occurs suddenly and increases intensively over several hours, at least 1-3 days.
In a typical clinic of neuropathy of the facial nerve, an urgent consultation with a neuropathologist is indicated in order to exclude a possible stroke and other serious neurological diseases. In the absence of other neurological symptoms, other tests are usually not required. Contrast-enhanced MRI is rarely done to pinpoint the location of the lesion.
The prognosis of the disease is good. Full spontaneous recovery within 8 weeks is observed in 55-70% of cases, partial - in 40% of cases. Treatment of facial nerve neurology must be early and timely, which increases the likelihood of a complete recovery. Corticosteroids are used to eliminate edema. Given the alleged role of the herpes simplex virus in the development of facial nerve neuropathy, antiviral drugs (acyclovir, zovirax) are often prescribed. Vascular and neurotrophic agents are also used. From the 2nd week, they carry out physiotherapy exercises, massage, physiotherapy procedures, reflexology. In case of incomplete recovery within 12 months, a surgical operation (decompression of the facial nerve) is indicated.
Treatment of neuropathy of the facial nerve with shock wave therapy in the medical center "Awatage"
Shock wave therapy (SWT) is one of the newest methods in the treatment of facial nerve neuropathy, showing excellent results. SWT is used both independently (monotherapy) and in combination with other drug and non-drug methods. Treatment with shock wave therapy improves the trophism of the affected muscles and nerves, accelerates the regeneration of damaged nerve fibers, and helps to restore the function of facial muscles. Patients often notice improvement after 2-3 sessions. The course of treatment is 5-6 procedures with an interval of 4-7 days. The duration of one procedure does not exceed 10 minutes. When undergoing a course of shock wave therapy, it is necessary to be monitored by a neuropathologist. The effectiveness of treatment of neuropathy of the facial nerve with shock wave therapy is 95%.