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Pain Problems » Head & Neck Area » Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is a relatively rare condition characterized by sudden, severe bouts of facial pain in the region of the trigeminal nerve, usually lasting for a maximum of 2 minutes, but sometimes recurring on a daily basis. The condition occurs more often in the middle aged and is twice as common in females as in males. In most of the patients the pain is strictly unilateral. Episodes can occur spontaneously or may be induced by physical triggers, such as light mechanical pressure to the affected area by simple activities such as talking and chewing. Pain is typically more severe in the morning and absent during sleep. The timing of attacks is highly significant. Each single burst of severe pain usually lasts for seconds, but several of these may follow in quick succession before the nerve becomes refractory, so making it feel like minutes. There is no buildup or gradual decrease in the pain. After such attacks, patients often report residual, dull ache, or burning sensations. There is considerable evidence to suggest trigeminal neuralgia is caused by demyelination (uncovering of nerve covering) of trigeminal sensory fibres within either the nerve root or the brain stem.

  1. Medical Management
  2. Interventions
    - Trigeminal branch block
    - Trigeminal ganglion block
    - Radiofrequency lesioning of the ganglion
  3. Surgery
    - Microvascular decompression
    - Stereotactic radiosurgery