OBJECTIVE: To review our experience with the use of endoscopic optic nerve decompression in traumatic blindness. METHOD: We did a retrospective analysis of patients with traumatic blindness that underwent endoscopic decompression of the optic canal to determine postoperative visual acuity and correlate it to preoperative visual loss and intraoperative findings. The setting was a Level 1 university trauma center. We identified 8 patients treated with both surgery and steroids over o 10-month period beginning in 1993 (Seven males, one female). RESULTS: Four of six patients with total blindness (no light perception) had improvements in visual acuity. In three patients, visual acuity returned to preinjury levels. One patients with total blindness was operated on 6 weeks after injury and had a visual acuity at 20/800 at 1 -year follow-up. Two patients with hand motion preoperatively had improvement in visual acuity. In one patient, vision returned to normal (20/20), and in the other it improved to 20/200). Five patients were operated on after megadose steroid treatment for at least 48 hours failed; four of five noted dramatic improvements in visual acuity. CONCLUSION: The endoscopic approach may be used to successfully decompress the optic nerve in traumatic blindness.
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