Trigeminal Neuralgia

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What is it?

Trigeminal neuralgia is a pathologic condition of the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve 5) that causes intermittent, severe pain on one side of the face. The pain can be so severe that it is painful to even touch that side of a patient’s face.

What causes it?

Trigeminal neuralgia has many causes, including trauma and impingement. However, in most cases the cause of the trigeminal neuralgia is never identified.

How can it be treated?

Treatment for trigeminal neuralgia starts with conservative measures, including physical therapy and medication management. If the pain does not go away, trigeminal nerve blocks, radiofrequency neurotomy of the trigeminal nerve, peripheral nerve stimulation, or other surgical procedure can be performed.