• Unilateral vocal fold paralysis;
  • injection laryngoplasty;
  • outcomes;
  • recurrent laryngeal nerve injury;
  • Level of Evidence: 4



Injection laryngoplasty (IL) is a temporary intervention for unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP). IL is often performed in patients with a potentially recoverable recurrent laryngeal nerve insult while awaiting spontaneous recovery, compensation, or definitive intervention. This study investigates the long-term outcomes of subjects treated with an IL.

Study Design:

Restrospective chart review.


A single-institution, retrospective review was performed from January 2004 to July 2008; subjects with potentially recoverable UVFP who underwent an IL were included.


The following etiologies were noted for the 42 subjects included: idiopathic in 13 (31%), iatrogenic in 25 (60%), infectious in two (5%), traumatic in one (2%), and stroke in one (2%). Ten subjects (24%) had full recovery of their paralysis, four (10%) partially recovered movement with adequate recovery of voice, 16 (40%) had no recovery of motion but compensation with adequate recovery of voice, 12 (29%) required further definitive intervention in the form of laryngeal framework surgery. Voice-related quality of life scores improved for all patients surveyed after IL and improved more for those who ultimately recovered or compensated.


The majority of subjects with potentially recoverable UVFP recover vocal fold motion and/or adequate voice after IL without permanent intervention. Laryngoscope, 2010