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Objective evaluation of iatrogenic lingual nerve injuries using the jaw-opening reflex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232 - 237
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

King's Authors


The extent of reflex inhibition of masseteric electromyographic activity, after an electrical stimulus applied to lingual mucosa, was used as a test of the ability of the lingual nerve to conduct nerve impulses and this was compared with the results of standard clinical tests. Two groups of subjects were assessed: healthy subjects (n=10) and patients with lingual nerve injuries (n=17). The patients were tested 8-9 weeks after their injury and retested 6 months later when they were retrospectively allocated to either a temporary injury or a permanent injury group. The group measure of reflex inhibition after stimulation of the tongue on the opposite side to the injury was no different from the same measure in controls, whereas two-point discrimination did differ. Group measures of inhibition and of subjective function after stimulation on the side of the injury were significantly different from controls whereas tight touch and two-point discrimination were not. There was good agreement between quantified masseteric inhibition and subjective function, but it was not possible at 8-9 weeks after the injury to differentiate between those that would recover and those that would be permanent. © 2004 The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

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