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Case report
Post-tonsillectomy dysphagia secondary to glossopharyngeal nerve injury
  1. Scott A Hong1,
  2. Lisa LaGorio2 and
  3. Inna Husain3
  1. 1Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
  2. 2Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  3. 3Department of Otolaryngology, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Scott A Hong; scott.a.hong{at}


The glossopharyngeal nerve lies in close proximity to the tonsillar fossa making it susceptible to injury during tonsillectomy, though it is uncommonly injured in practice. We present a case of severe dysphagia due to glossopharyngeal nerve injury following tonsillectomy and demonstrate the efficacy of the McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Program (MDTP), a novel stepwise exercise-based rehabilitation program, in improving clinical outcomes. In patients with persistent, severe dysphagia following tonsillectomy, glossopharyngeal nerve injury should be on the differential diagnosis. The MDTP is one method by which clinicians may be able to treat this complex condition.

  • ear, nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • cranial nerves
  • physiotherapy (rehabilitation)
  • otolaryngology / ENT

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  • Contributors SAH: interpretation of data, conception and design of the work, including the drafting and write-up of the overall report, the introduction and discussion, and the learning objectives of the report. LL: acquisition and analysis of the work, including the diagnostic testing and treatment outlined in the report; critically revised the work for important intellectual content. IH: analysis and interpretation of the work, as well as the conception and design of the work, including the discussion and learning objectives of the report; critically revised the work for important intellectual content. All authors contributed to final approval of the published version and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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