Background. Balance compensation after vestibular schwannoma (VS) surgery is under the influence of specific preoperative patient and tumor characteristics. Objective. To prospectively identify potential prognostic factors for balance recovery, we compared the respective influence of these preoperative characteristics on balance compensation after VS surgery. Methods. In 50 patients scheduled for VS surgical ablation, we measured postural control before surgery (BS), 8 (AS8) days after, and 90 (AS90) days after surgery. Based on factors found previously in the literature, we evaluated age, body mass index and preoperative physical activity (PA), tumor grade, vestibular status, and preference for visual cues to control balance as potential prognostic factors using stepwise multiple regression models. Results. An asymmetric vestibular function was the sole significant explanatory factor for impaired balance performance BS, whereas the preoperative PA alone significantly contributed to higher performance at AS8. An evaluation of patients' balance recovery over time showed that PA and vestibular status were the 2 significant predictive factors for short-term postural compensation (BS to AS8), whereas none of these preoperative factors was significantly predictive for medium-term postoperative postural recovery (AS8 to AS90). Conclusions. We identified specific preoperative patient and vestibular function characteristics that may predict postoperative balance recovery after VS surgery. Better preoperative characterization of these factors in each patient could inform more personalized presurgical and postsurgical management, leading to a better, more rapid balance recovery, earlier return to normal daily activities and work, improved quality of life, and reduced medical and societal costs.
- balance control
- medical management
- unilateral vestibular deafferentation
- vestibular schwannoma