Case Report | Open Access
Peripheral neuromodulation for the treatment of refractory trigeminal neuralgia
Trigeminal neuralgia is a type of orofacial pain that is diagnosed in 150,000 individuals each year, with an incidence of 12.6 per 100,000 person-years and a prevalence of 155 cases per 1,000,000 in the United States. Trigeminal neuralgia pain is characterized by sudden, severe, brief, stabbing or lancinating, recurrent episodes of pain in the distribution of one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve, which can cause significant suffering for the affected patient population.In many patients, a combination of medication and interventional treatments can be therapeutic, but is not always successful. Peripheral nerve stimulation has gained popularity as a simple and effective neuromodulation technique for the treatment of many pain conditions, including chronic headache disorders. Specifically in trigeminal neuralgia, neurostimulation of the supraorbital and infraorbital nerves may serve to provide relief of neuropathic pain by targeting the distal nerves that supply sensation to the areas of the face where the pain attacks occur, producing a field of paresthesia within the peripheral distribution of pain through the creation of an electric field in the vicinity of the leads.The purpose of the present case report is to introduce a new, less-invasive interventional technique, and to describe the authors’ first experience with supraorbital and infraorbital neurostimulation therapy for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia in a patient who had failed previous conservative management.
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