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Can Surgery Improve Trumpet Playing?


Copyright 2024, Mark Alan Wade

Primary Author: Dibbell, D.
Journal Title: NACWPI Journal
Date Published: Autumn 1978
Language: English
Category: Orofacial Disorders
Key Words: surgery trumpet performance
Full Citation: Dibbell, David G. Can Surgery Improve Trumpet Playing? International Trumpet Guild Conference lecture by David G. Dibbell, transcribed by Linda Anne Farr. NACWPI Journal 27, no. 1 (Autumn 1978): 24-25.
Full Abstract: Many musicians experience injuries; however, the trumpet is perhaps the most dangerous of all. The only other occupation causing similar medical problems due to the unnaturally occurring intra-oral pressures is glass blowing. These pressures can cause a number of problems including: infection in the salivary due to air leaking into the salivary gland through the duct in the cheek, stress velopharyngeal incompetence, and herniation of the neck. A W shaped cut into the soft palate can lengthen the palate to allow a better and stronger seal needed to endure the high intra-oral pressures of trumpet playing. Tissue from the back of the neck is added to lengthen the palate at this incision up to two centimeters. At present, two surgeries have been performed on musicians- both of whom are playing as well or better than before the surgery. The cure rate is estimated at between 70 and 75%.