We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience. If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website. See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

Treatment: Stapedotomy

This operation is carried out to treat otosclerosis, a disorder in which the stapes bone in the middle ear becomes immobilized by bony overgrowth, causing hearing loss. Under local or general anaesthesia, parts of the stapes are removed and replaced by a prosthesis. Stapedotomy is usually successful, but there is a small risk that hearing may deteriorate further.

Before surgery

The stapes has become immobilized due to bony overgrowth around its base, so that sound vibrations cannot travel to the inner ear. During the operation, the body of the stapes bone is removed and a hole is drilled in the bony area around the base.

After surgery

The body of the stapes is replaced by a prosthetic piston. The piston is able to move freely in and out of the hole in the bony area, transmitting vibrations to the inner ear.

Prosthetic piston (6 x actual size)

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

Back to top

Search the
Medical Encyclopedia

Related Topics

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.