The outcome is summarized for 14 cases operated on for glossopharyngeal neuralgia, with both open and percutaneous rhizotomy techniques, between 1960 and 1984. Four patients, all with primary neuralgia, underwent open surgery. Pain disappeared, leaving only a ninth nerve deficit in all but one patient; in that patient, paroxysms of pain recurred after 3 years, mediated by the nervus intermedius. Five other patients with idiopathic neuralgia and five patients with pain secondary to carcinoma underwent percutaneous procedures. Seven patients who had retrogasserian percutaneous rhizotomy for associated trigeminal neuralgia were also pain-free. No mortality or morbidity resulted from either type of procedure.