Traumatic cranial neuropathy

Richard S Polin MD (Dr. Polin of George Washington University has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.)
Randolph W Evans MD, editor. (Dr. Evans of Baylor College of Medicine received honorariums from Allergan, Avanir, DepoMed, and Pernix for speaking engagements and honorariums from Alder, Lilly, and Promius for advisory board membership.)
Originally released June 7, 1999; last updated May 7, 2017; expires May 7, 2020

Overview

Traumatic cranial neuropathies are often seen with fractures involving the skull base. They most frequently involve the olfactory and optic nerves at the anterior skull base or the seventh and eighth cranial nerves in the temporal bone. In this update, the author introduces results from endoscopic optic nerve decompression for traumatic optic neuropathy.

Historical note and terminology

Samuel Thomas Soemmerring, a German medical student, established the present classification of cranial nerves in 12 numbered pairs 2 centuries ago. The basis of the classification was the different foramina in the base of the skull through which the nerves exit the cranial cavity (Rucker 1966). The first description of traumatic cranial nerve injury appears in the Edwin Smith Papyrus and describes a patient with a facial droop following head injury. The droop was on the same side as the fracture and was probably due to a contre-coup injury (Elsberg 1931).

The content you are trying to view is available only to logged in, current MedLink Neurology subscribers.

If you are a subscriber, please log in.

If you are a former subscriber or have registered before, please log in first and then click select a Service Plan or contact Subscriber Services. Site license users, click the Site License Acces link on the Homepage at an authorized computer.

If you have never registered before, click Learn More about MedLink Neurology  or view available Service Plans.