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Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Facial Nerve Damage

Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Facial Nerve Damage

PCL Injuries

Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Facial Nerve Damage

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney. When someone is involved in a car accident, glass is commonly broken. Perhaps the car rolled over or maybe an object flew through a window or the windshield. If the glass shatters, this can fly through the car and cause severe injuries. The facial nerve is protected only by a small layer of skin on each side of the face. If a piece of glass cuts the face, this could be enough to sever the facial nerve. While some of the impacts of this damage might be apparent immediately, the true impact of a facial nerve injury might not be known for quite some time.

Facial Nerve Function

The facial nerve departs the brain near the brain stem and courses around on the left and right side of the face, giving off branches that travel to a variety of locations that are essential in several function. The facial nerve plays an important role in generating speech, sensing taste, and expressing emotions. Furthermore, the facial nerve is important for keeping a face symmetrical which can severely impact someone’s self-esteem.

Diagnosing Facial Nerve Injuries

The diagnosis of a facial nerve injury starts by determining symptoms that a patient might be experiencing. The doctor will ask about any speech problems a patient might be experiencing. Because a dizzying number of muscles are important in generating speech, detail will be important. Patients might notice changes in their ability to taste certain foods. This might only be on one side of the tongue if only one facial nerve is injured. While this can be difficult to patients to delineate, the detail is important.

Facial Nerve Testing by Physician

Next, the diagnosis of a facial nerve injury depends on important physical exam findings. The doctor will ask the patient to wrinkle their forehead to see if the frontalis muscle, a muscle powered by the facial nerve, is weaker than usual. The doctor will also examine whether or not the patient has trouble closing an eye. The doctor will compare these functions to the unaffected side. The doctor will also closely examine a patient’s smile, ability to whistle, and ability to generate a forceful blow, such as blowing out a candle or spinning a pinwheel.

Electrical Stimulation Studies

Formal studies often aren’t necessary for diagnosis of a facial nerve injury, but some doctors will consider performing electrical stimulation studies for full delineation of the injury. This can help provide prognostic information on the injury regarding what functions might be impaired.

Surgical Repair Depends on Location and Severity of Injury

Depending on the location and severity, traumatic facial nerve injury might be amenable to surgical repair. If the facial nerve has been injured near the site where it exits the brainstem, this is unlikely to result in a successful repair; however, this site of injury is unusual given its hidden and protected location. If you’ve suffered a facial nerve injury due to a motor vehicle collision, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

Sacramento Auto Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. If you have been seriously injured, please call me anytime at 916-921-6400 or toll free at 800-404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

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