Salvage treatment of trigeminal neuralgia by occipital nerve stimulation

Cephalalgia. 2014 Apr;34(4):307-10. doi: 10.1177/0333102413508238. Epub 2013 Oct 8.


Background: Although most patients suffering from trigeminal neuralgia (TN) respond to medical or surgical treatment, nonresponders remain in very severe painful condition.

Case result: We describe for the first time a case of severe refractory classical TN treated successfully (follow-up one year) by chronic bilateral occipital nerve stimulation (ONS), because other classic medical and surgical options failed or could not be performed.

Conclusions: This single case suggests that ONS might be offered to TN patients refractory both to standard drugs and interventions, with a favorable risk/benefit ratio, although its long-term efficacy remains unknown.

Keywords: Trigeminal neuralgia; facial pain; neuromodulation; occipital nerve stimulation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Salvage Therapy / methods*
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia / therapy*