Authors of section


Damir Matic, John Yoo

General Editors

Daniel Buchbinder

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Reversible paralysis

Definition of reversible paralysis

Paralysis can be considered reversible if present for less than 1-2 years.

Reversible paralysis implies that the distal nerve muscle unit has the potential to recover function.

There are two situations of reversible paralysis:

  • Proximal facial nerve available and distal nerve/motor unit available
  • Distal nerve/motor unit available but no proximal nerve available


Facial paralysis management needs to be considered based on location and degree of functional loss. Facial paralysis may involve the entire face, a portion, or any combination (e.g. brow, upper eyelid, lower eyelid, midface, lower lip). Paralysis can be either complete or partial loss of function and it can be reversible or irreversible based on the cause of nerve/muscle injury.

Lateral tarsorrhaphy

Lateral tarsorrhaphy should be considered in most situations as a temporary and/or preemptive measure prior to definitive procedure to improve eyelid function and ensure corneal protection. A detailed description of lateral tarsorrhaphy can be found in the dedicated treatment section under "reversible paralysis".


Imaging such as CT or MRI may be necessary in situations where the diagnosis or anatomy is uncertain. More details can be found in additional material, under the patient evaluation and management section.

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