How does the risk sequelae will develop in patients with Bell palsy (idiopathic facial paralysis) (IFP) increase over time?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Danette C Taylor, DO, MS, FACN; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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The sooner the recovery, the less likely are the chances that sequelae will develop, as summarized below:

  • If some restoration of function is noted within 3 weeks, then the recovery is most likely to be complete

  • If the recovery begins between 3 weeks and 2 months, then the ultimate outcome is usually satisfactory

  • If the recovery does not begin until 2-4 months from the onset, likelihood of permanent sequelae, including residual paresis and synkinesis, is higher

  • If no recovery occurs by 4 months, then the patient is more likely to have sequelae from the disease, which include synkinesis, crocodile tears, and (rarely) hemifacial spasm

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