This study describes the management of 216 patients with post-traumatic iatrogenic lingual nerve injuries (LNIs; n=93) and inferior alveolar nerve injuries (IANI; n=123). At initial consultation, 6% IANI and 2% LNI patients had undergone significant resolution requiring no further reviews. Reassurance and counselling was adequate management for 51% IANI and 55% LNI patients. Systemic or topical medication was offered as pain relief to 5% of patients. Additional cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) was offered to 8% of patients. Topical 5% lidocaine patches reduced pain and allodynia in 7% of IANI patients, most often used without any other form of management. A small percentage of IANI patients (4%) received a combination of therapies involving CBT, surgery, medication and 5% lidocaine patches. Exploratory surgery improved symptoms and reduced neuropathic area in 18 LNI and 15 IANI patients resulting in improved quality of life. In conclusion, the authors suggest a more diverse and perhaps holistic strategy for management of patients with iatrogenic trigeminal nerve injuries and recommend pragmatic assessment criteria for measurement of treatment success in these patients.
Copyright © 2011 International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.