Motor Relearning after Hypoglossal-Facial Nerve Anastomosis

Kelly J. Negley, Alysha Rasool, Patrick J. Byrne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Facial paralysis is a clinical condition associated with significant functional and psychosocial morbidity (Facial Plast Surg FPS. 2011;27(4):346-57). The management paradigm for this condition continues to evolve with the use of both surgical and nonsurgical strategies (Facial Plast Surg FPS. 2011;27(4):346-57). Hypoglossal-facial nerve anastomosis is a surgical technique whereby the hypoglossal nerve acts as a donor motor nerve to restore facial muscle reinnervation via movements of the tongue (Plast Reconstr Surg. 1979;63(1):63-72). This case describes a 33-yr-old woman with unilateral facial paralysis who underwent hypoglossal-facial nerve anastomosis and 14 wks of postoperative rehabilitation. This report highlights the details of her rehabilitation regimen including the specific techniques used to enhance motor relearning of facial expression through movement of the tongue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E85-E88
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • Facial Paralysis
  • Nerve Regeneration
  • Nerve Transfer
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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