Efficacy of glycerol rhizotomy in trigeminal neuralgia: case-series


Treatment of trigeminal neurolagia by percutaneous retrogasserian glycerol rhizotomy was assessed in a series of 45 patients during the period from May 2008 through June 2012 with a follow up period ranging from 2 to 24 months postoperatively. All patients enrolled in the present study were considered medical failures before the procedure. Achievement of substantial pain relief was reported in 42 patients (93.3 %) and no further medical treatment was needed. Outcome also included reduction in facial sensation in 30 patients (66.7 %) and recurrence in 4 patients (8.9 %). Failure of treatment was seen in 3 patients (6.7 %). Conclusion: percutaneous retrogasserian glycerol rhizotomy offers safe and reliable relief of pain in patients with trigeminal neuralgia; low recurrence rate and long lasting reduction in facial sensations are the major disadvantages; nonetheless, it is by far, in our opinion, the method of choice in elderly particularly high risk patients.