Radiofrequency Lesioning of the Dorsal Root Ganglion Can Alleviate Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain

Radiofrequency Lesioning of the Dorsal Root Ganglion Can Alleviate Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain

Trigeminal neuralgia is an extremely painful condition affecting the facial nerves. This can cause chronic facial pain and migraines that are difficult to control with medication. Radiofrequency lesioning may be able to provide relief to patients suffering from chronic trigeminal neuralgia pain. These procedures damage the trigeminal nerve slightly, stopping it from sending constant pain signals to your brain. This can stop the pain from trigeminal neuralgia at the source, instead of constantly masking it.


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What is Radiofrequency Lesioning of the Dorsal Root Ganglion?


Radiofrequency lesioning (RFL) is a procedure that uses electrical impulses to interrupt nerve conduction. RFL is most commonly used on the facet joint nerves, sacroiliac joint nerves, and peripheral nerves. An advantage of RFL is that it allows for the interruption of pain signals for an extended period. Radiofrequency lesioning is done under X-Ray guidance to assist in precise needle placement. By using a special radiofrequency needle and microelectrode, the tissue at the site of pain is stimulated by a small radiofrequency current.

This current generates heat and blocks the pain pathways. It is an extremely effective procedure, and patients can get relief in as little as a few days after treatment. Dorsal root ganglions are the nerve bundles found at every root of the base of the spinal cord. These nerve bundles send sensation from our body to our brain, where it is processed and then sent back to our body.


What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?


The trigeminal nerve is one of 12 pairs of nerves that are attached to the brain. The nerve has three branches that conduct sensations from the upper, middle, and lower portions of the face, as well as the oral cavity, to the brain. More than one nerve branch can be affected by the disorder. Rarely, both sides of the face may be affected at different times in an individual, or even more rarely at the same time. Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is considered to be one of the most painful afflictions currently known to the medical field. TN is a disorder of the fifth cranial or trigeminal nerve.

The typical form of the disorder is called TN1 and causes extreme, sporadic, sudden burning, or shock-like facial pain in the areas of the face where the branches of the nerve are distributed. This can include the lips, eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, upper jaw, and lower jaw. The pain episodes may last anywhere from a few seconds to as long as two minutes. These attacks can occur in quick succession or volleys lasting as long as two hours. The other less common form of the disorder is called TN2. It causes a constant aching, burning, or stabbing pain of a somewhat lower intensity than TN1. Both forms of pain may occur in the same person, and sometimes at the same time.


How Can Radiofrequency Lesioning of the Dorsal Root Ganglion Alleviate Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain?


Radiofrequency lesioning from the Chicago pain management center involves controlled damage of specific nerves to stop pain signals from being produced. This lesioning uses a small pulse of radiofrequency waves to damage the injured or painful nerves for an extended period. This can stop chronic pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia. The trigeminal nerve bundle can be damaged, so it no longer sends out pain signals to the brain. This can successfully alleviate trigeminal neuralgia symptoms.