Editor-in-Chief: Alaa Abd-Elsayed, MD, PhD
BACKGROUND: Classic trigeminal neuralgia is a clinical condition with pathognomonic acute and sporadic episodes of pain. Atypical trigeminal neuralgia manifests more dull, constant, and chronic with occasional acute burning or stabbing pain as experienced in classic trigeminal neuralgia. There have been reports of trigeminal neuralgia developing after cervical insults, positing a cervical source of orofacial pain.
CASE REPORT: We report a patient with chronic, bilateral atypical trigeminal neuralgia symptoms due to a cervical cavernous malformation who underwent a C3-C6 laminectomy with cavernous malformation resection and had subsequent seroma-induced bilateral classic trigeminal neuralgia. Therapist-led cervical exercises improved his symptoms. His quality of life and function independence improved and his medications were titrated down.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, trigeminal neuralgia does not always present as classic paroxysmal, electrical pain and can occur from a cervical insult distal to the C2 spinal level.
KEY WORDS: Trigeminal neuralgia, cervical cord compression, case report