Surgical Management of Trigeminal Neuralgia in Children

Nicole H. Chicoine, Alan P. Yaacoub, Andrew Jea, Jeffrey S. Raskin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a well-recognized facial pain syndrome. Discrete forms with disparate pain symptoms include classic and atypical. However, atypical facial pain includes neuralgiform pain along a spectrum. Most cases of TN are diagnosed in the adult population. Case reports and series of children have presented TN as a similar entity, with treatment similar to that for adults. We reviewed the pertinent data and present 2 pediatric TN cases successfully treated with microvascular decompression (MVD). Case Description: Two pediatric patients (age 12 and 15 years) with TN refractory to previous medical therapy were identified. Both patients were deemed appropriate surgical candidates and underwent MVD to manage their TN. TN compression was arterial in both cases and involved portions of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery. Patient 1 was pain free 6 months after the procedure. Patient 2 was pain free immediately after the procedure and had been weaned off preoperative symptomatic management at the latest follow-up visit. The most recent follow-up examination was 12 and 8 months for patients 1 and 2, respectively, with both experiencing continued freedom from pain. Conclusions: Few studies have reported on the effectiveness of MVD in the pediatric population for the management of TN. The supporting data and our 2 cases have demonstrated that MVD is effective for pediatric patients to treat their TN. Furthermore, the side effects appear to be minimal, with excellent pain relief after MVD in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-221
Number of pages5
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Microvascular decompression in children
  • Pediatric facial pain
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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