Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day: Treatment Options

October 7 is honored as Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day. As a lesser known, but extremely painful disorder, undiagnosed trigeminal neuralgia can have a huge impact on normal daily life routines if it goes untreated.

Trigeminal neuralgia occurs when the fifth cranial nerve is compressed by a blood vessel, causing extreme facial pain often misdiagnosed as a dental problem. The pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia can be so severe that everyday tasks like chewing or speaking become difficult.

In the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, pain management with medication is traditionally the first line of defense. While this approach can reduce the effects of the disorder, some patients may require or request additional treatment due to advanced pain or a desire to avoid side effects of medication. In these cases, treatment options can include surgery or stereotactic radiosurgery.

Austin CyberKnife uses CyberKnife® technology to deliver stereotactic radiosurgery, a noninvasive treatment method that can be completed within one session. CyberKnife treatment has a unique advantage for patients seeking a method with little or no impact on quality of life. Unlike other radiosurgery systems or surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery with CyberKnife does not require an invasive approach such as a metal head frame or incisions.

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.