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Long-term effects of vestibular compensation on balance control and sensory organisation after unilateral deafferentation due to vestibular schwannoma surgery
  1. Cécile Parietti-Winkler1,2,
  2. Gérome C Gauchard1,
  3. Claude Simon2,
  4. Philippe P Perrin1,2
  1. 1Inserm U 954, Thematic group ‘Neurodegenerative Diseases, Neuroplasticity, Cognition,’ Faculty of Medicine, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, Nancy-University, UFR STAPS, Balance Control and Motor Performance, Villers-lès-Nancy, France
  2. 2Department of ENT, University Hospital, Nancy, France
  1. Correspondence to Professor Philippe P Perrin, Equilibration et Performance Motrice, Nancy-Université, UFR STAPS, 30, rue du Jardin Botanique, 54 600 Villers-lès-Nancy, France; Philippe.Perrin{at}


The time-course of central adaptive mechanisms after vestibular schwannoma surgical removal allows, 3 months after surgery (middle term), a satisfactory recovery of balance control. However, the long-term evolution of postural control beyond the end of usual medical follow-up remains unknown. This longitudinal prospective study aimed to assess the long-term effects of vestibular compensation on balance control and sensory organisation in patients operated on for vestibular schwannoma. Thirty-six patients with vestibular schwannoma underwent vestibular and sensory organisation tests, shortly before and 3 months, 6 months and 1 year after surgery. Postural control performances improved 3 months after surgery compared with before surgery; they continued to improve at 6 and 12 months after surgery, especially in conditions highly soliciting vestibular information. In the long term, strategies based on sensorimotor and/or behavioural substitution seem to be reinforced and fine-tuned, particularly in complex postural situations, for which only vestibular information is reliable to control balance.

  • Postural control
  • vestibular schwannoma
  • sensory organisation
  • long term-vestibular compensation
  • neuroplasticity
  • ENT
  • surgery
  • motor control

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  • Competing interests None.

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