Treatments of glossopharyngeal neuralgia: towards standard procedures

Neurol Sci. 2017 May;38(Suppl 1):51-55. doi: 10.1007/s10072-017-2909-6.


The degree of disability due to glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GN) refractory to conservative treatments justifies surgical procedures as second-line treatments. Since the first description of this facial pain disorders, many surgical options have been described either via a percutaneous or an open surgical way. Actually, when a neurovascular conflict on root entry zone (REZ) or cisternal portion of the ninth and tenth cranial nerves is identified, microvascular decompression (MVD) is the first surgical option to consider. Many studies have demonstrated its efficacy and safety for the treatment of GN. Recently, stereotactic radiosurgery has gained space in the treatment of selected cases of GN. We provide an overview of the surgical procedures for the treatment of GN and of our own experience.

Keywords: Glossopharyngeal neuralgia; Microvascular decompression; Percutaneous thermorizotomy; Radiosurgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Glossopharyngeal Nerve Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Glossopharyngeal Nerve Diseases / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Microvascular Decompression Surgery / methods*
  • Microvascular Decompression Surgery / trends
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / trends
  • Radiosurgery / methods
  • Radiosurgery / trends*