JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Superior oblique surgery: when and how?

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this paper is to review different types of superior oblique muscle surgeries, to describe the main areas in clinical practice where superior oblique surgery is required or preferred, and to discuss the preferred types of superior oblique surgery with respect to their clinical outcomes.

METHODS: A consecutive nonrandomized retrospective series of patients who had undergone superior oblique muscle surgery as a single procedure were enrolled in the study. The diagnosis, clinical features, preoperative and postoperative vertical deviations in primary position, type of surgery, complications, and clinical outcomes were reviewed. The primary outcome measures were the type of strabismus and the type of superior oblique muscle surgery. The secondary outcome measure was the results of the surgeries.

RESULTS: The review identified 40 (20 male, 20 female) patients with a median age of 6 (2-45) years. Nineteen patients (47.5%) had Brown syndrome, eleven (27.5%) had fourth nerve palsy, and ten (25.0%) had horizontal deviations with A pattern. The most commonly performed surgery was superior oblique tenotomy in 29 (72.5%) patients followed by superior oblique tuck in eleven (27.5%) patients. The amount of vertical deviation in the fourth nerve palsy and Brown syndrome groups (P = 0.01 for both) and the amount of A pattern in the A pattern group were significantly reduced postoperatively (P = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: Surgery for the superior oblique muscle requires experience and appropriate preoperative evaluation in view of its challenging nature. The main indications are Brown syndrome, fourth nerve palsy, and A pattern deviations. Superior oblique surgery may be effective in terms of pattern collapse and correction of vertical deviations in primary position.

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