Author Topic: Looking for a good facial nerve physical therapist in Chicago area  (Read 4851 times)


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Hello, my husband had AN removed 3 weeks ago. It was a medium size tumor, 2.5cm x 2.0cm on the right side. After the surgery, he has a HB Grade 5 facial weakness. On the surgery day, the surgeon called me saying that he didn't know if the weakness would be temporary or permanent. When he stimulated my husband's facial nerve, the response was very weak. He thought it was greatly bruised/stretched, but not cut (at least he didn't think so).

He can close his right eye (AN side), but not completely. The doctor said it was ok to start the facial physical therapy. I am looking for a good physical therapist who is specialized in facial nerve physical therapy in Chicago area. I searched online and send an email to Jackie Diels yesterday. I have not got a reply yet. Also, she does not live in Chicago area. So I don't really know if working with her will be an option anyways. Any information is highly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

Also, I am wondering if anyone has similar experience as my husband. How has your recovery been?

Cheryl R

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Re: Looking for a good facial nerve physical therapist in Chicago area
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2021, 10:56:48 pm »
The facial nerve is a very slow healer.  Do nothing.      Let the nerve heal on it's on.   The muscles will not  work till the nerve has healed enough.         Jackie Diels is in Madison WI.               She does not like to see patients  for 10 to 12 months past surgery unless there is significant movement started.        You can do light massage.
  Many of us understand.  Most times the paralysis is temporary unless the tumor did damage the facial nerve so bad that may not heal.         My facial nerve was severed and immediately a nerve from by the ear grafted in.        I was told that would be 8 months to see movement and that was about right with more for long after that.
      There can be improvement for even up to 18 months in some,                       Not easy when one wants it to all get better now.
                                          I hope it does go well for your husband in time.                      Cheryl R
Right mid fossa 11-01-01
  left tumor found 5-03,so have NF2
  trans lab for right facial nerve tumor
  with nerve graft 3-23-06
   CSF leak revision surgery 4-07-06
   left mid fossa 4-17-08
   near deaf on left before surgery
   with hearing much improved .
    Univ of Iowa for all care


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Re: Looking for a good facial nerve physical therapist in Chicago area
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2021, 01:35:59 pm »
Thank you, Cheryl for the info! Jackie did get back to me and told me that she wouldn't want to see patients unless there was sign of facial movement, just as what you said. It has been almost two months since my husband's surgery. Not much improvement yet so far. Jackie said it usually took 4 to 9 months for the first sign of facial recovery to appear. We did find a local therapist and saw him once. He suggested some facial stretch exercise for my husband to do. We also just made an appointment with an ophthalmologist to discuss about the option of helping his eye to close, either putting the weight or surgically closing his right eye a little bit.



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Re: Looking for a good facial nerve physical therapist in Chicago area
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2022, 08:43:28 pm »

I had AN surgery on 11/30/21 and I’m having almost exactly the same facial and eye symptions as your husband. In my case the doc told me that my nerve was damaged by the tumor and they are not optimistic that I will see recovery. I’m having the weight put in my eyelid in one week and in several months we’ll make some evaluations on possible treatment/surgery to see if I can get some movement on my right side of my face.

I’d love to hear your feedback on how your husband is doing now, did he ever see any improvements?
"If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane" - Jimmy Buffett
Vestibular Schwannoma 2.3 x 2.5 cm. Right side.
Surgical approach was translabyrinthine on 11/30/21 at Emory Hospital in Atlanta, GA.
Total right side hearing lost and facial paralysis on right side
Phonak Audeo CROS-P hearing aids