Stapedotomy is primarily performed to treat hearing loss secondary to otospongiosis, although some patients find that the accompanying tinnitus is more bothersome than the hearing loss. We prospectively studied 23 consecutive patients with tinnitus secondary to otospongiosis who had undergone stapedotomy, and we compared their pre- and postoperative medical and audiologic findings. Patients' annoyance with their tinnitus was quantified by means of a visual analog scale, and their air-conduction thresholds were determined by measurements of a 4-frequency pure-tone average (0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz). Statistical analysis was performed using the paired Student's t test and Fisher's exact test. In the group as a whole, the mean tinnitus annoyance visual analog scores were 8.34 preoperatively and 1.56 postoperatively, a highly significant difference. Clinically, 22 of the 23 patients (95.7%) achieved satisfactory control of their tinnitus (improvement or complete resolution) following stapedotomy. With respect to hearing loss, all patients clinically improved postoperatively, and audiometry confirmed improvement at all 4 frequencies between 0.5 and 4 kHz. An air-bone gap of less than 10 dB was noted in 17 patients (73.9%). We conclude that in addition to improving hearing, stapedotomy also provides good control of tinnitus.
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