Editor-in-Chief: Alaa Abd-Elsayed, MD, PhD
BACKGROUND: Spinal cord stimulation and neuromodulation has led to a vastly increased quality of life in patients since its introduction. Despite this, there remains a variety of potential complications to be aware of.
CASE REPORT: The following case presents a patient with postlaminectomy syndrome who developed a right-sided Bell’s palsy following a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) trial. He presented to the emergency department with right-sided facial weakness and right ear pain, reporting that the symptoms began a few hours after he returned home from the SCS trial. After an unremarkable neurologic workup, his presentation was found to be most consistent with Bell’s palsy. He received appropriate treatment and achieved full resolution of his symptoms at the 2-month follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: Peripheral facial nerve palsy can result from a variety of etiologies. Special care is required to eliminate secondary causes before establishing an idiopathic source. Strict infection control remains a significant protective factor against SCS complications.
KEY WORDS: Spinal cord stimulator, Bell’s palsy, peripheral nerve palsy, low back pain, postlaminectomy syndrome