PDF: A prospective, quantitative study on the clinical outcome of inferior alveolar nerve decompression and neurolysis


The management of persistent anaesthesia or dysaesthesia following damage to the inferior alveolar nerve is difficult, and the benefit of interventions is often unclear. 



We have evaluated the outcome of inferior alveolar nerve decompression and neurolysis in a series of 25 patients, with injuries usually sustained during third molar removal, who had poor spontaneous recovery.


Damage to the inferior alveolar nerve is a potential complication of any surgical procedure that impinges on the mandibular canal. The most common cause is lower third molar removal, with a reported incidence of approximately 4%, and attempts are made to predict the likelihood of nerve damage on the basis of preoperative radiological appearance

However, there is little evidence that any change in surgical technique that results from this information affects the outcome. We have published an algorithm to guide management decisions for patients who sustain an inferior alveolar nerveinjury during thirdmolar removal.

P.P. Robinson, J.M. Yates & K.G. Smith
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Surgery, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK