What is Atypical Facial Pain?
Atypical Facial Pain is a pain disorder of the face which shares some features with trigeminal neuralgia. The pain may be different – most often longer in duration (minutes, hours, or continuous), and of a dull, aching, burning, sharp, squeezing, or crushing quality. Sometimes the pain may be precipitated by sinus surgery, dental work, or facial trauma. Atypical facial pain may also be caused by an injury to a small branch of one of the three divisions of the trigeminal nerve.
How is Atypical Facial Pain treated?
Each case is unique and is handled individually. Some patients with atypical facial pain respond well to medication, and others respond well to local nerve blocks. Generally, the surgical and radiation treatments that work well for trigeminal neuralgia do not work as well for atypical facial pain. Other rarely performed procedures such as motor cortex stimulation or (CT)-guided percutaneous trigeminal tractotomy-nucleotomy (TR-NC) may be effective. The Johns Hopkins Trigeminal Neuralgia Center neurosurgeons as well as our Anesthesia / Pain clinic specialists work closely with us on these cases.