December 02, 2017

Foster Half-Somersault Maneuver to Treat BPPV Video

Traditionally, posterior canal BPPV is treated using a maneuver called the Epley (shown below). With a nearly 80%+ success rate in "curing" vertigo due to posterior canal BPPV, this has been the mainstay of treatment since the 1980s.

Although the Epley maneuver is easy to perform, certain steps do require laying down with the head hyper-extended. This position is not easily feasible if a vertigo attack occurs at work or in public.

In such inconvenient situations, the Foster Half-Somersault maneuver shown above may be not only more feasible, but also easier to perform for some patients. Published in 2012 by Dr. Carol Foster in Denver, CO, this maneuver is comparable in success rates to the Epley in the treatment of posterior canal BPPV.

Steps to the Half-Somersault are as follows:

1) While kneeling, the head is quickly tipped upward and back.
2) The somersault position is assumed, with the chin tucked as far as possible toward the knee.
3) The head is turned about 45° toward the right shoulder, to face the right elbow (if the right ear is affected).
4) Maintaining the head at 45°, the head is raised to back/shoulder level.
5) Maintaining the head at 45°, the head is raised to the fully upright position.

Read more about BPPV vertigo here.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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