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Keywords:

  • Vestibular schwannoma;
  • postural control;
  • surgery;
  • aging;
  • compensation;
  • neuroplasticity;
  • Level of Evidence: 4

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

To evaluate the age-related effects of vestibular schwannoma (VS) on postural control and whether the postoperative postural strategies differ according to age.

Study Design:

Longitudinal, transversal study.

Methods:

Forty-seven VS patients were split into three groups according to age (group I, 14 patients aged from 30 to 44 years; group II, 21 patients aged from 45 to 59 years; and group III, 12 patients aged from 60 to 75 years). All patients underwent vestibular and posturographic testing shortly before as well as 8 days and 3 months after surgical tumor removal.

Results:

Vestibular and postural performance followed a classical time course with degradation just after surgery and recovery 3 months after surgery, whatever the age group. However, in the elderly the improvement of postural performances compared to preoperatively was more important, especially in conflicting situations.

Conclusions:

Despite of age-related decline in postural control and cognitive processes, neuroplasticity allowed not only a recovery but even an improvement of balance after surgical VS removal in the elderly. This study highlights the interest of VS surgery even at a more advanced age. Laryngoscope, 2012