Understanding Trigeminal Neuralgia

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Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), sometimes referred to as Tic Douloureux, is a nerve disorder that can cause intense pain on either side of the face. Though primarily used to treat benign and malignant tumors throughout the body, stereotactic radiosurgery can also treat additional medical conditions including trigeminal neuralgia.

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Understanding Trigeminal Neuralgia

  1. 1. UnderstandingTrigeminal Neuralgia What Is It? / Types / Treatment Options / More Info 99 Route 37 WestToms River, NJ 08755 / (732) 557-3120 / www.newjerseyck.com Wednesday, October 2, 13
  2. 2. What isTrigeminal Neuralgia? Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), sometimes referred to asTic Douloureux, is a nerve disorder that can cause intense pain on either side of the face.The pain can be triggered when cold air touches specific facial areas or with movements like chewing, talking or swallowing.The unpredictable, severe pain fromTN can significantly impact one's quality of life. The disorder occurs in the trigeminal, or fifth cranial, nerve that controls sensation in the face.TN is more common in women, and patients are typically middle-aged or seniors. 99 Route 37 WestToms River, NJ 08755 / (732) 557-3120 / www.newjerseyck.com Wednesday, October 2, 13
  3. 3. Trigeminal Neuralgia: Typical & Atypical Cases TYPICALTN In typicalTN, patients suffer from unpredictable episodes of stabbing, electric shock-like pain in a consistent location. Such patients can reproduce an attack by touching a “trigger point” on the face or performing a specific activity like chewing or talking. ATYPICALTN With atypicalTN, the pain is a persistent dull ache or burning sensation in one part of the face. However, episodes of sharp pain can complicate atypicalTN. There is usually not a specific trigger point with atypicalTN, while the pain grows worse over time. 99 Route 37 WestToms River, NJ 08755 / (732) 557-3120 / www.newjerseyck.com Wednesday, October 2, 13
  4. 4. What are the treatment options? All forms ofTN can be treated with medication, surgery or radiosurgery, all of which offer varying degrees of success. Medication can relieve pain in mostTN patients, though it’s not always effective and can produce fatigue or other significant side effects. Nevertheless, medication is generally the first line of treatment. Please note: We encourage consumers to thoroughly review and understand all treatment options.The information presented here is not all-inclusive. Rather, it represents a starting point to learn more about medical conditions and treatment options. There is no substitute for consulting a medical professional. Surgery Radiosurgery 99 Route 37 WestToms River, NJ 08755 / (732) 557-3120 / www.newjerseyck.com Wednesday, October 2, 13
  5. 5. Treatment Option One: Surgery If patients do not find relief from pain medication, they may be a candidate for surgery, including a procedure known as microvascular decompression, or MVD. In youngerTN patients, MVD is often preferred, because it holds the potential of a long-term cure without causing significant facial numbness. Other procedures known as radiofrequency rhizotomy, glycerol rhizotomy or nerve balloon compression attempt to destroy trigeminal nerve fibers that cause pain.These operations have varying degrees of success and pain relief can return after a few years.Therefore, the treatment is typically repeated several times over a patient’s life. Open surgery also carries risks of infection, arterial or cranial-nerve injury or stroke. Certain patients have medical conditions that prevent surgery, while others may object to surgery. 99 Route 37 WestToms River, NJ 08755 / (732) 557-3120 / www.newjerseyck.com Wednesday, October 2, 13
  6. 6. Treatment OptionTwo: Radiosurgery Though primarily used to treat benign and malignant tumors throughout the body, stereotactic radiosurgery can also treat additional medical conditions including trigeminal neuralgia.The CyberKnife® is an advanced technology that performs stereotactic radiosurgery. During the procedure, the machine delivers highly focused radiation to the trigeminal nerve to interrupt pain-causing fibers.While other stereotactic radiosurgery treatment options can require a metal frame be attached to the patient's skull under local anesthesia, CyberKnife does not. CyberKnife doesn’t require a head frame. It uses a highly advanced computer-imaging system that can compensate for small head movements, allowing the patient to lie comfortably during the procedure. TN treatment planning begins with a CT and/or MRI brain scan, particularly of the trigeminal nerve area. 99 Route 37 WestToms River, NJ 08755 / (732) 557-3120 / www.newjerseyck.com Wednesday, October 2, 13
  7. 7. Treatment OptionTwo: Radiosurgery •During CyberKnife treatment, high-dose radiation beams are precisely aimed along a segment of the trigeminal nerve. •The pinpoint accuracy of the CyberKnife procedure spares healthy tissue and does not require surgery or sedation. •Stereotactic radiosurgery forTN is typically a one-time, outpatient procedure and is completed within an hour. •TN does not have a cure, but pain can be reduced or eliminated in about 85 to 90 percent of patients who are treated with stereotactic radiosurgery, according to clinical data. •The most common side effect is facial numbness that likely correlates with the degree of pain relief. •Pain relief with CyberKnife treatment can be substantially faster than other forms of radiosurgery. •This may be the result of the system’s accuracy. Follow-up is needed before doctors can estimate how long pain relief will last. 99 Route 37 WestToms River, NJ 08755 / (732) 557-3120 / www.newjerseyck.com Wednesday, October 2, 13
  8. 8. Our Center Social Media Channels New Jersey CyberKnife at the J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center combines experienced physicians with the first robotic radiosurgery system versatile and sophisticated enough to treat tumors throughout the body. Our state-of-the-art technology now offers hope to patients in New Jersey and beyond. New Jersey CyberKnife at the J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center has a dedicated CyberKnife coordinator who works with our physicians and patients to coordinate care and manage the treatment process.We know that any diagnosis is a scary one and we’re here to make your experience as easy as possible.We encourage you to call us anytime with questions or concerns. Read Our Blog! http://www.newjerseyck.com/our-center/news-events/ Medical Director: Dr. David J. D’Ambrosio CyberKnife Nurse: Debbie Moriarty, RN, MSN, OCN 99 Route 37 WestToms River, NJ 08755 / (732) 557-3120 / www.newjerseyck.com Wednesday, October 2, 13

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