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If you are feeling sharp, shooting pain or burning sensations in one side of your face, you may have a condition called trigeminal neuralgia. Trigeminal neuralgia is a problem that can cause significant pain in your face and may interfere with your normal work or recreational activities.

If you have trigeminal neuralgia, you should visit your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition. Your doctor can perform special diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your facial pain symptoms and to start you on the best treatment.

There are different classifications of trigeminal neuralgia. These types of trigeminal neuralgia are based largely on symptom location or behavior. Your doctor can help you understand your specific type of trigeminal neuralgia and the best treatment for it.

Atypical trigeminal neuralgia, also known as trigeminal neuralgia type II, is one type of the conditions that may require special treatment. Learning about the different types of trigeminal neuralgia – like atypical trigeminal neuralgia – can help you get the best care for your facial pain.

Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms

Atypical trigeminal neuralgia is a rare type of the condition. What sets it apart from the standard form of trigeminal neuralgia? Atypical trigeminal neuralgia symptoms are much more diffuse than the typical form of the condition.

Atypical trigeminal neuralgia symptoms include:

  • Constant burning or aching pain on one side of your face, eye, cheek or jaw
  • Episodes of sharp, electric-like pain in your face
  • Constant numbness or tingling in one side of your face.
  • A constant and diffuse pain in your ear, teeth or cheek.
  • Your atypical trigeminal neuralgia symptoms may be brought on by different activities. These triggers may include things like shaving, lightly brushing your face, brushing your teeth or excessive chewing.

How is Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia Different?

While trigeminal neuralgia typically presents as one-sided facial pain, burning or tingling, atypical trigeminal neuralgia symptoms present much differently. The facial pain is present, but is typically much more diffuse.

Your facial pain may be a constant ache, highlighted by significant and episodic sharp, shooting pains. Your pain may be located in your ear, jaw, teeth or nasal area. You may also experience symptoms that mimic migraine headaches. Such diffuse symptoms can make atypical trigeminal neuralgia difficult to diagnose and treat.

Atypical trigeminal neuralgia is similar to trigeminal neuralgia in that the cause of your facial pain is, potentially, the same. Irritation of your trigeminal nerve — from compression by an artery or from a demyelinating disease process — can cause pain and your atypical trigeminal neuralgia symptoms.

Treatment for Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms

If you are dealing with atypical trigeminal neuralgia symptoms, your doctor can work with you to find strategies to relieve your pain.

Typically treatment starts with a course of medication to decrease your pain and facial spasm. If medicine fails to give you adequate relief, you may need to consider surgery to treat your symptoms.

Surgical treatment for atypical trigeminal neuralgia symptoms may include different types of approaches and procedures. These may include:

  • Microvascular decompression: During this procedure, your doctor will make a small incision behind your ear and remove a tiny portion of your skull. Your trigeminal nerve will then be visualized, and a small Teflon pad will be placed between the nerve and its neighboring artery. This helps to take pressure off of your trigeminal nerve.
  • Gamma Knife Radiosurgery: Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is a procedure where multiple beams of radiation are carefully focused at your trigeminal nerve. The radiation slightly damages the nerve, decreasing transmissions of painful stimuli from your face to your brain.
  • Percutaneous Rhizotomy: During percutaneous rhizotomy, your doctor will use a small needle to insert a tiny electrode near your nerve. This will be used to heat and cauterize the area near your trigeminal nerve, slightly damaging it. This helps to decrease the signals of pain traveling from your face to your brain, decreasing your atypical trigeminal neuralgia symptoms.
  • Pain Stimulator Implant: This procedure involves the implantation of a small electrode into the area near your trigeminal nerve and brain stem. This electrode can be programmed to deliver tiny electrical impulses that block the transmission of pain signals to your brain from your trigeminal nerve.

Each surgical procedure carries its own risks and benefits. Finding and working with an NJ neurosurgeon who you trust and who can perform surgery is an important step when you have atypical trigeminal neuralgia.

Find a Top-Rated NJ Neurosurgeon

When you are first diagnosed with atypical trigeminal neuralgia, you should find a top-rated NJ neurosurgeon to provide you with the best treatment possible.

Your doctor should be a trusted resource that works with you to treat your condition. finding the best doctor for you may take some work; not all doctors are created equal.

The doctor your choose should take the time to explain the different options available to you for treatment. He or she should offer you alternatives to treatment and should explain the risks and benefits associated with different trigeminal neuralgia surgeries.

Your questions should be thoroughly answered, and you should feel like your neurosurgeon has your best interests in mind. Taking the time to find the best doctor for you can help you feel at ease about your trigeminal neuralgia and make you confident in your treatment decisions.

If you are dealing with the intense facial pain and diffuse aches or burning sensations that come with atypical trigeminal neuralgia, you understand how difficult it can be to concentrate on your normal day-to-day activities.

You should take some time to learn about atypical trigeminal neuralgia symptoms and the treatments that are available to you. Working with a trusted NJ neurosurgeon can help you maximize your chances of a positive outcome with your trigeminal neuralgia treatment.
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