What is the prognosis of Bell palsy (idiopathic facial paralysis) (IFP)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Danette C Taylor, DO, MS, FACN; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

The natural course of Bell palsy varies from early complete recovery to substantial nerve injury with permanent sequelae (eg, persistent paralysis and synkinesis). Prognostically, patients fall into 3 groups:

  • Group 1 - Complete recovery of facial motor function without sequelae

  • Group 2 - Incomplete recovery of facial motor function, but with no cosmetic defects that are apparent to the untrained eye

  • Group 3 - Permanent neurologic sequelae that are cosmetically and clinically apparent


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