Austin CyberKnife recently completed the successful treatment of a patient suffering from trigeminal neuralgia (TN), a debilitating nerve disorder, using stereotactic radiosurgery.
Known for its characteristic excruciating facial pain, trigeminal neuralgia is often misdiagnosed as a dental problem causing some patients to undergo invasive dental operations in an attempt to relieve their pain.
The disorder can occur when a blood vessel compresses the fifth cranial nerve, the trigeminal nerve. When this occurs, common and routine tasks can become difficult including chewing, talking or swallowing. Over time patients seek powerful painkilling drugs or other antidepressant or anticonvulsive medication to ease their pain as triggers become unpredictable.
For former patient Gloria R., getting a second opinion was pivotal to finding the correct diagnosis.
“Dentists could not locate the source of the pain, despite root canals and pulled teeth,” she said. “I was sent to a periodontist, who thought I needed to see a neurologist and at last I had an answer, trigeminal neuralgia.”
Gloria was successfully treated at Austin CyberKnife after being previously treated for the recurring pain with medication and surgery. CyberKnife’s unique ability to treat the trigeminal nerve without an invasive approach such as a metal head frame or incisions, offered her an advantage other treatments could not. Today she is pain free.
“Now in my 70s, I have been given some of my life back,” she said. “I no longer worry about a kiss from my family giving me pain. My balance has returned and I no longer use a cane or a walker. Every day brings a joy that I thought had escaped me.”
Stereotactic radiosurgery for TN is typically a one-time, outpatient procedure and is completed within an hour. Patients receive high doses of precisely targeted radiation, sparing nearby healthy tissue, and experience few to no side effects.
To find out more about the CyberKnife treatment process for trigeminal neuralgia, call us at 512-324-8060.
This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.