Trigeminal Neuralgia: What You Need to Know about the Trigeminal Nerve

The trigeminal nerve is one of the most vital nerves in the head and is responsible for sensation in the face and certain motor functions. It is the largest of the cranial nerves and has three major branches that assist with sensory and motor functions including biting, chewing and sensations in the face.

Rush Radiosurgery treats a debilitating condition associated with the trigeminal nerve, called trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Often described as one of the most excruciating conditions known, TN can occur when a blood vessel compresses the trigeminal nerve, causing agonizing pain in the face, forehead and jaw. Many times, no cause can be found as TN is often misdiagnosed as a dental problem due to the pain it can cause around the jaw region. As the pain intensifies, patients find themselves unable to predict what may trigger the next episode. Pain can be triggered by something as simple as a light breeze to actions like chewing, talking or swallowing. Treatment typically involves powerful painkilling drugs or other antidepressant or anticonvulsive medication.

Our center treats TN with TrueBeam™ STx technology, a highly advanced machine that precisely targets and delivers high-dose radiation to segments of the trigeminal nerve, providing significant and lasting pain relief for up to 80 percent of patients treated, according to clinical data. Visit our conditions treated page for more information about TrueBeam STx treatment for TN.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.