What is the role of surgery in the treatment of abducens nerve palsy (sixth cranial nerve palsy)?

Updated: Nov 19, 2018
  • Author: Michael P Ehrenhaus, MD; Chief Editor: Edsel Ing, MD, MPH, FRCSC  more...
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If, after 9-12 months of follow-up care, the remaining deviation is still unacceptable and is too large to be corrected with prisms, surgical corrective options should be discussed with the patient. The procedure that is chosen depends on the remaining function of the lateral rectus and the experience of the surgeon.

If some residual function exists in the lateral rectus, a graded recession of the medial rectus or botulinum toxin to the medial rectus, and resection of the lateral rectus or lateral rectus bupivacaine (Marcaine) injection can be performed.

When little or no residual function is present, a transposition of the vertical recti toward the lateral rectus (eg, Hummelsheim, Jensen, or Nishida procedure), can be considered in conjunction with weakening of the ipsilateral medial rectus.

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