Surgical treatment of cranial neuralgias

Handb Clin Neurol. 2010:97:679-92. doi: 10.1016/S0072-9752(10)97057-7.


The most common types of cranial neuralgias amenable to surgical therapeutic options are trigeminal neuralgia and glossopharyngeal neuralgia, the former having an approximate incidence of 5/100000 cases per year and the latter of 0.05/100000 cases per year. Surgical therapy of these pathological conditions encompasses several strategies, going from ablative procedures to neurovascular decompression, to radiosurgery. The choice of the most appropriate surgical option (which must be taken into account when all conservative treatments have proven to be unsuccessful) has to take into account many factors, the most important ones being neuroradiological evidence of a neurovascular conflict, severity of symptoms, the age and clinical history of the patient, and the patient's overall medical condition. In this chapter we report our experience with the treatment of trigeminal and glossopharyngeal neuralgia, describing the surgical procedures performed and reviewing the most recent aspects on this subject in the past literature.

MeSH terms

  • Decompression, Surgical
  • Glossopharyngeal Nerve Diseases*
  • Humans
  • Neuralgia
  • Radiosurgery
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia*