Trigeminal Neuralgia could be interpreted as a rare disease. In contrast, it is a relatively common facial pain that occurs in the form of intense discharges of pain in one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve, which originates at the base of the skull, and is mainly responsible for facial sensitivity.
Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia
Usually, pain manifests in a particular area on one side of the face, and is usually not associated with other neurological deficits.
It is an extremely invalidating pathology for patients who suffer from it, conditioning their social, family and even their food , since the pain wakes up with any small stimulus such as smiling, chewing, brushing teeth, etc.
In 80-90% of cases seen in neurosurgery , neuralgia is caused by a phenomenon of nerve compression by vascular structures, such as arteries or veins.
Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia
The recommended initial treatment is usually medical, although it has a poor success rate of approximately 25%. The physician should evaluate the clinical response of the patient to one or several drugs. Treatment with several drugs at high doses carries numerous undesirable side effects , so it is a question of alleviating the pain symptomatology with the minimum possible medication.
The neurosurgical treatment of choice in typical trigeminal neuralgia is microvascular decompression of the nerve, which consists of releasing and isolating the nerve from structures that compromise it. The intervention is very safe in experienced hands, with very satisfactory results for patients and usually with a hospital discharge within a period of 24-48 hours. This intervention can be indicated in a wide range of ages.