Lingual nerve injury during suspension microlaryngoscopy

Andrew Gaut, Mark Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Lingual nerve injury is an uncommon complication of laryngoscopy. We report a case of isolated unilateral lingual nerve injury that occurred during suspension microlaryngoscopy. The injury was transient, with complete return of sensation within 3 months after surgery. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the occurrence of lingual nerve injury during laryngoscopy, including direct compression of the nerve caused by the laryngoscope, stretching of the nerve caused by cricoid pressure or instrumentation, and compression of the nerve between the medial and lateral pterygoid caused by manipulation of the mandible. The precise mechanism of injury in this case was not obvious, but stretching of the lingual nerve caused by pressure of the suspended laryngoscope on the tongue or retrolingual region was likely. The transient nature of the injury and the rapid return of the nerve to baseline function in this case are consistent with a neurapraxic injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-671
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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