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Sixth cranial nerve palsy following closed head injury in a child.
  1. G J Hollis
  1. Department of Emergency Medicine, St George Hospital, Kogarah, NSW, Australia.


    A five year old female had an isolated abducens nerve palsy following closed head injury. There was no associated skull fracture, haematoma, or other cranial nerve injury. The significance, frequency, and differential diagnosis of traumatic sixth cranial nerve injury is discussed, particularly in paediatric patients. Management is symptomatic; occlusion with an eye pad may be used if diplopia is significant. In young children alternate day occlusion of each eye will help prevent amblyopia. Most cases improve within three months and many resolve by six months. Residual palsy at six months is likely to be permanent and surgical treatment may be needed.

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