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A Comparison of Percutaneous Radiofrequency Trigeminal Neurolysis and Microvascular Decompression of the Trigeminal Nerve for the Treatment of Tic Douloureux.

Apfelbaum, Ronald I. M.D.
Neurosurgery: July/August 1977
Clinical and scientific communications: PDF Only

: In a 36-month period, 103 consecutive patients have been treated for classical trigeminal neuralgia with either percutaneous radiofrequency trigeminal neurolysis (PTN) (48 patients) or microvascular decompression (MVD) via a suboccipital craniectomy (55 patients). The results of these two procedures are tabulated, emphasizing especially the complications that have occurred with each. Successful initial relief of pain was achieved in 88% of the patients with PTN and 96% of the patients with MVD. Two significant complications occurred in the former group. Severe recurrences have occurred to date in 13% of the patients with PTN and in 5% of those with MVD. It is concluded that both procedures are effective, but that microvascular decompression offers the advantage of avoiding sensory loss and associated dysesthetic sensations. Follow-up is too short to conclude that MVD is a curative procedure, but the early results are very encouraging.

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