Trigeminal neuralgia is a neuropathic disorder affecting the fifth cranial nerve - trigeminal nerve. The condition features with intensive, sharp and extremely severe pain in the area of face which is innervated by trigeminal nerve. These areas include the eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, lips, and both upper and lower jaw. The real cause of trigeminal neuralgia has not been found yet.
Medicamentous Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia
In case of trigeminal neuralgia patients may be administered some of the anticonvulsants. They are normally given in patients who suffer from seizures but they have proven certain extent of efficacy in treating trigeminal neuralgia. These medications can relieve pain in the mild cases of the disease.
Muscle relaxants are another group of medication that is used. Their efficiency is increased if they are used together with anticonvulsants.
The patients may present the loss of pain after certain period and then they discontinue with the medications. Unfortunately in many patients the pain comes back.
Surgical Approaches in Trigeminal Neuralgia
For all those who cannot control the pain with medication there are several surgical procedures that may result in reduction or even complete elimination of pain. Some surgical procedures can be combined with medications in achieving the desirable effects. Surgery is done to destroy certain parts of trigeminal nerve.
- Balloon Compression
- Electric current
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery
- Microvascular decompression
All of the mentioned procedures may lead to temporary facial numbness as one of the side effects.