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Oculostapedial synkinesis following idiopathic facial palsy: something to listen out for

  • T Williams (a1), B Tungland (a2), N Stobbs (a1) and G Watson (a1)



This paper presents a rare case of oculostapedial synkinesis.

Case report

After partial resolution of an idiopathic facial palsy, a male patient presented with persistent distortion of hearing when blinking and closing his eye. Audiometry findings were unremarkable, and cross-sectional imaging of the facial nerve revealed no abnormalities apart from an incidental contralateral meningioma. Initial conservative management, with referral to a specialist physiotherapist, failed to resolve the symptoms. The patient subsequently opted for surgical intervention, and underwent a transmeatal tympanotomy and transection of the stapedial tendon. Following this, he had complete resolution of symptoms.


Oculostapedial synkinesis is a rare complication of facial palsy, but is recognised in the literature. Given its unusual presentation, it can be overlooked, especially by more junior team members. This case highlights the need to pay careful attention to patients' symptoms and listen out for the description of hearing distortion on facial movement.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Mr Timothy Williams, ENT Department, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Glossop Road, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK E-mail: Fax: 0114 271 1985


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Mr T Williams takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper



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Oculostapedial synkinesis following idiopathic facial palsy: something to listen out for

  • T Williams (a1), B Tungland (a2), N Stobbs (a1) and G Watson (a1)


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