Facial Rehabilitation: Evaluation and Treatment Strategies for the Patient with Facial Palsy

Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2018 Dec;51(6):1151-1167. doi: 10.1016/j.otc.2018.07.011. Epub 2018 Sep 24.


This article describes the most widely used clinician-graded and patient-reported outcome measures, and describes facial rehabilitation strategies for acute and chronic facial palsy, and rehabilitation following dynamic facial reanimation surgery. The multimodality rehabilitation of the facial palsy patient is determined by the extent of facial nerve injury, specific functional deficits, the presence of synkinesis, and the patient's individual goals. Appropriate intervention, including patient education, soft tissue mobilization, neuromuscular reeducation, and chemodenervation, decreases facial tension and improves facial muscle motor control, physical function, facial expression, and quality of life.

Keywords: Facial rehabilitation; Neuromuscular retraining; Physical therapy; Postsurgical facial reanimation; Synkinesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Chronic Disease
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Facial Expression*
  • Facial Paralysis / physiopathology
  • Facial Paralysis / psychology
  • Facial Paralysis / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Quality of Life*
  • Treatment Outcome