Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal Neuralgia

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Treatment of trigeminal neuralgia usually begins with conservative treatment with anticonvulsant medications which usually helps most people with the pain control. Along with muscle relaxers, trigeminal neuralgia may be effectively treated and a person may not require surgery. There are some drawbacks to medication other than the side effects. Sometimes a high dose of medication is necessary to relive the symptoms. Anticonvulsant drugs may lose their effectiveness or a patient need a second medication to alleviate the pain which can cause adverse drug interactions. These medications can also be toxic to individuals with a history of bone marrow conditions or kidney or liver toxicity.

If treatment with medication proves to be ineffective your physician may suggest surgery to relieve the pressure on the trigeminal nerve. Surgeries such as microvascular decompression which involves microsurgical exposure of the trigeminal nerve root, identification of a blood vessels that maybe compressing the nerve and gently moving the vessel to where it is not compressing the nerve. If a vein is compressing the nerve your surgeon may remove it if necessary. Microvascular decompression can work in most cases to relieve the pain and symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia however pain can reoccur in some people. If there is no compression from blood vessels, your surgeon may cut part of the nerve.

Gamma Knife may also be used to successfully treat trigeminal neuralgia. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a non-surgical treatment in which your surgeon will direct a focused dose of radiation to the root of the trigeminal nerve. This will damage the area of the trigeminal nerve responsible for causing the pain. The results of Gamma Knife occur gradually and may take a few weeks to fully alleviate the pain. Gamma Knife is an effective non-surgical way to treat pain and more and more surgeons are using it to treat trigeminal neuralgia. SCCNS is proud to be one of the few centers that offers Gamma Knife at the Regional Gamma Knife Center in Upland, CA.

Other options for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia are also available. Your expert at SCCNS can discuss all options with you and can guide you in the best treatment option.

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