Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal Neuralgia (also known as tic douloureux) causes a sharp facial pain lasting seconds, usually on one side of the face. It is commonly triggered by chewing, swallowing, talking or touching of the face. This pain can be quite debilitating. It usually arises from direct pressure from a blood vessel on the trigeminal nerve.

Our neurosurgeons take a thorough history and physical to make the diagnosis. Occasionally, other causes, such as arteriovenous malformation, brain tumor or multiple sclerosis, can lead to trigeminal neuralgia. An MRI is obtained due to the possibility of these other causes.

Treatment often begins with medications. However, for many patients, medications do not fully alleviate the symptoms or side effects from medications are intolerable. Neurosurgical treatments are available:

The surgery is often performed for other compressive cranial neuropathies including hemifacial spasm, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, hypoglossal neuralgia and others.