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A 35-year-old member asked:

how is trigeminal neuralgia diagnosed?

5 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tung Nguyen
Neurosurgery 31 years experience
Clinical exam: Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition where sharp, electrical pain affects the face along one or more of the three branches of the trigeminal nerve. There is typical and atypical types of trigeminal neuralgia. Your neurosurgeon or neurologist should be able to examine you and make a diagnosis. Brain MRI scans are usually done to make sure there are no tumors or ms.
Dr. Jeffrey Cohen
Neurology 34 years experience
Clinical Diagnosis: By an expert, based on the patient's history and description of pain. There are several types of tn; most typical is sharp, shooting, electrical stabbing pain on one side of the face in the distribution of one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve. Diagnostic studies, such as brain mri, do not make the diagnosis, but help to search for a cause.
Dr. John Van der Werff
Dentistry 39 years experience
History and exam: Other conditions like a tooth ache, muscle pain, and tumors must be ruled out. Then it is diagnosed with a history, examination, and sometimes local anesthetic.
Dr. Jonathan Dissin
Neurology 39 years experience
Clinical diagnosis: Syndrome of extreme facial pain in the absence of numbness or other objective findings, characterized by paroxysms of sharp stabbing pain in one of the divisions of the trigeminal nerve. Onset in mid->latter life, slighty greater f>m. Between paroxysms patient is pain free, paroxysm may last 15 min or more, many times/day. Trigger zone when stimulated sets off a paroxysm. Rarely bilateral.
Dr. Stephen Rodrigues
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
TN is a specific name to a type of facial pain. It can take a few doctors visits to get a final ruling. DON'T WAIT it is not cancer but the pain can make you wish you were dead! Think flesh/tissue and not nerves for face pain! Begin a self-care Wellness Program of Vits, Magnesium glycinate, sleep hygiene, self/pro Massage, chiropractor, heat, Epsom soaking, stretching. I use acupuncture!
Sep 9, 2012
Dr. Brijesh Chandwani
Pain Management 11 years experience
Clinically : Trigeminal neuralgia is diagnosed clinically. Your doctor may still send you for a brain MRI to rule out any other pathology.

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Similar questions

A 21-year-old member asked:

Does trigeminal neuralgia ever go away on its own?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barbara A Majeroni
Specializes in Family Medicine
Sort of: Sometimes people with trigeminal neuralgia have long periods with no symptoms, but there is always the possibility of recurrence.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Isn't there a test of some sort to tell if you've got trigeminal neuralgia?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Eisenberg
Neurosurgery 33 years experience
No: Trig neuralgia is diagnosed based upon the history and the description of the pain. An MRI may show the loop of a blood vessel next to the trig nerve. This is thought to be the cause but you may still have tn even if the MRI does not show anything as the vessels are quite small.
A 43-year-old member asked:

How can trigeminal neuralgia be treated?

4 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Virginia Simnad
Neurology 28 years experience
Yes: Generally trials of antiseizure medications can be beneficial. Some individuals fail such therapy and may otherwise benefit from neurosurgical procedures including gamma knife therapy.
Dr. Stephen Rodrigues
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
I would NOT use a gamma knife. Anti-seizures do help. Think flesh/tissue and not nerves for face pain! Begin a self-care Wellness Program of Vits, Magnesium glycinate, sleep hygiene, self/pro Massage, chiropractor, heat, Epsom soaking, stretching. I use acupuncture!
Sep 9, 2012
CA
A 34-year-old member asked:

Is trigeminal neuralgia very serious?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anthony Mosley
Neurology 24 years experience
No: It can be very painful, to the point of causing difficulty speaking or eating, and it can sometimes be caused by a tumor, but trigeminal neuralgia itself is not life threatening, not associated with other neurologic dysfunction, and rarely causes significant disability.
A 25-year-old member asked:

Are there complications of trigeminal neuralgia?

6 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anthony Mosley
Neurology 24 years experience
No: Simple answer is no, though rarely it can get bad enough to consider neuro surgery (eg janetta procedure) which does have a risk of complications.
Dr. Stephen Rodrigues
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
TN is a type of facial pain. TN overlap with myofascial patterns. DON'T WAIT to start care the pain can make you wish you were dead! Think flesh/tissue and not nerves for face pain! Begin a self-care Wellness Program of Vits, Magnesium glycinate, sleep hygiene, self/pro Massage, chiropractor, heat, Epsom soaking, stretching. I use acupuncture! NO invasive procedure!!!
Sep 9, 2012

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