Endoscopic optic nerve decompression in traumatic optic neuropathy: our experience in a tertiary care centre


  • Bincy Joseph Kerala Government Health Service, Kannur, Kerala, India
  • Sapna S. Nambiar Department of ENT, Government Medical College Kozhikode, Kerala, India
  • K. Ramachandran Department of ENT, KMCT Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
  • Suma Radhakrishnan Department of ENT, Government Medical College Manjeri, Kerala, India




Trans-nasal, Endoscopic, Optic nerve decompression, TON


Background: Traumatic optic neuropathy (TON) a vision threatening disorder requires early diagnosis and prompt treatment. High dose steroid injections, optic nerve decompression or combined therapy are the available current treatment options. This study aims to determine the visual outcome with transnasal endoscopic optic nerve decompression in patients with TON having no improvement in vision despite high dose steroids.

Methods: A prospective study was conducted at the department of ENT, government medical college Kozhikode; on patients who presented with loss of vision following history of trauma. All patients suspected of compressive optic neuropathy received injection methyl prednisolone (30 mg/kg/day) with assessment of vision and HRCT scan. Patients with deterioration or no improvement in vision despite high steroid therapy were taken up for trans-nasal endoscopic optic nerve decompression.

Results: In our study 19 patients with TON underwent trans-nasal endoscopic optic nerve decompression. 11(57.9%) patients had improvement of vision, 7 (36.8%) patients had no improvement of vision and 1 (5.3%) patient had worsening of vision. The visual improvement was seen in 8 (80%) patients when treatment was initiated within 7 days and in only 3(33.3%) patients when treatment was initiated after 7 days. The visual acuity at presentation and time interval between trauma and intervention are factors that determine better visual outcomes.

Conclusions: The decreased visual acuity in TON requires prompt treatment. High dose steroid must be started at once when it is suspected or diagnosed. The timely surgical intervention with trans-nasal endoscopic optic nerve decompression is a relatively safe and effective technique enabling better visual prognosis.


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