OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Patients with post-traumatic vertigo can be difficult to treat secondary to the chronicity of their symptoms. Patients can have peripheral, central, and combined vestibular deficits. Furthermore, no comprehensive guidelines exist for returning these patients to work. The objectives of the study were to discuss diagnosis, management techniques, and guidelines for returning these patients to work.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of a tertiary referral neurotology and balance clinic.
METHODS: Between July 1997 and July 2003, 2390 patients with chief complaints of vertigo and/or dizziness were analyzed. Of these, 16 patients met the requirements for inclusion in the study, including head trauma and/or concussion and residual vertigo. Their inpatient and outpatient charts, imaging studies, audiograms, vestibular tests, and physical therapy evaluations were reviewed. All patients had at least 6 months of follow-up.
RESULTS: There were 5 women and 11 men, with an average age of 42 years. Five patients had symptoms consistent with traumatic perilymphatic fistulas, and two patients had symptoms consistent with post-traumatic Menieretextquoterights syndrome. Surgical therapy was not beneficial in relieving dysequilibrium. Balance testing results did not predict return-to-work status. Eleven patients were not allowed to return to work in any capacity, two patients were allowed to return to work with limited duties, and three patients were allowed to return to work with no restrictions.
CONCLUSION: Post-traumatic vertigo can result in chronic symptoms. Balance testing did not predict the ability of patients to return to work. Surgical intervention might not control patient symptoms. Many patients were unable to return to work.