OBJECTIVES (1) To assess dynamic postural stability before and after cochlear implantation using a functional gait assessment (FGA). (2) To evaluate the correlation between loss of residual hearing and changes in dynamic postural stability after cochlear implantation.
METHODS Candidates for first-sided cochlear implantation were prospectively included. The FGAs and pure-tone audiograms were performed before and 4-6 weeks after cochlear implantation.
RESULTS Twenty-three subjects were included. Forty-eight percent (n = 11) showed FGA performance below the age-referenced norm before surgery. One subject had a clinically relevant decrease of the FGA score after cochlear implantation. No significant difference between the mean pre- and postoperative FGA scores was detectable (p = 0.4). Postoperative hearing loss showed no correlation with a change in FGA score after surgery (r = 0.3, p = 0.3, n = 16).
CONCLUSION Single-sided cochlear implantation does not adversely affect dynamic postural stability 5 weeks after surgery. Loss of functional residual hearing is not correlated with a decrease in dynamic postural stability.