Several treatment options are available to treat trigeminal neuralgia, depending on various factors such as the nature of the pain, the individual’s preference, physical health, and previous surgeries. Some procedures are done on an outpatient basis, while others may involve a more complex operation that is performed under general anesthesia.
Experienced Trigeminal Neuralgia Specialists
Trigeminal neuralgia, also known as TN, is a neuropathic and chronic pain condition associated with nerve injury or lesion. TN affects one of the most widely distributed nerves in the head called the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve.
The 2 Types of TN
Type 1 or TN1 is the “classic” and typical form of the disorder. This type causes extreme, sporadic, sudden burning or shock-like facial pain that lasts anywhere from a few seconds to as long as two minutes per episode. These attacks can occur in quick succession, in volleys lasting as long as two hours.
The atypical form of the disorder is called “Type 2” or TN2. This type is characterized by constant aching, burning, stabbing pain of somewhat lower intensity than Type 1.
Both forms of pain may occur in the same person and sometimes at the same time.
Common Symptoms of TN
Although symptoms may vary due to the type of TN, severity and location of pain, these are the most symptoms typically associated with trigeminal neuralgia:
- Episodes of severe, shooting or jabbing pain that may feel like an electric shock
- Spontaneous attacks of pain triggered by things such as touching the face, chewing, speaking or brushing teeth
- Bouts of pain lasting from a few seconds to several minutes
- Episodes of several attacks lasting days, weeks, months or longer
- Constant aching, burning feeling that may occur before it evolves into the spasm-like pain of trigeminal neuralgia
- Pain in areas supplied by the trigeminal nerve including the cheek, jaw, teeth, gums, lips, or less often the eye and forehead
- Pain affecting one side of the face at a time, though may rarely affect both sides of the face
- Pain focused in one spot or spread in a wider pattern
- Attacks that become more frequent and intense over time
Causes of TN and who it affects
TN can be caused by a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve as it exits the brain stem. This compression causes the wearing away or damage to the protective coating around the nerve called the myelin sheath. TN symptoms can also occur in people with multiple sclerosis, a disease that causes deterioration of the trigeminal nerve myelin sheath. Rarely, symptoms of TN may be caused by nerve compression from a tumor or an arteriovenous malformation. Injury to the trigeminal nerve as a result of sinus surgery, oral surgery, stroke, or facial trauma may also produce neuropathic facial pain.
Trigeminal neuralgia occurs mostly in people over the age of 50, although it can occur at any age, including infancy. It is more common in women than men, and the incidence of new cases is approximately 12 per 100,000 people per year.
Trigeminal Neuralgia Diagnosis in East Texas
What Treatment Options are Available to Tyler Neurosurgical Patients?
Treatment options for TN are something that Tyler Neurosurgical can help you with. The initial treatment options include medication and pain management. Prescription drugs can often provide initial relief, but when medication options become ineffective, surgery may be necessary. Tyler Neuro offers a surgical option called Microvascular Decompression (MVD), which can relieve abnormal compression of the cranial nerve causing TN. Tyler Neurosurgical can help you find an option for relief. Contact us now to learn how we can help.
Expert Trigeminal Neuralgia Specialists in Tyler
At Tyler Neurosurgical Associates, we are committed to providing you with quality service and care. Our primary location is in Tyler, we also treat patients in East Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Contact our brain specialists today!