Trigeminal neuralgia, also called tic douloureux, is a commonly misdiagnosed disorder characterized by intense facial pain. It is a chronic pain disorder that affects the fifth cranial nerve, usually in the fifth to seventh decade of life. Medication is the first line of treatment but frequently fails over time. At that point, many patients seek surgical intervention. This study reviews 108 patients treated over a 1-year period at the University of Florida with one of two surgical procedures: radiofrequency lesioning and microvascular decompression. The short-term results of this experience are reviewed and discussed.
William A. Friedman, MD, is the chairperson of neurosurgery at the McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
R. Rick Bhasin, MD, is the chief resident neurosurgery at the McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Pamela M. Ritter, MSN ARNP-BC, at Rittepm@neurosurgery.ufl.edu. She is a neurosurgical nurse practitioner at the McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.