Background: Peripheral neurostimulation (PNS) for medically refractory trigeminal pain is an emerging alternative to traditional surgical approaches, with safety and efficacy demonstrated in several retrospective series and a prospective trial currently in progress. Many existing studies suffer from relatively small numbers and short or inconsistent follow-up, making balanced treatment assessment difficult. Materials and Methods: Consecutive cases of trial and permanent placement of trigeminal branch stimulation electrodes by a single surgeon from May 2014 through January 2019 were retrospectively reviewed from a prospectively collected database, following the PROCESS guidelines for surgical case series. Outcomes were assessed at six months and at last follow-up. Results: Ninteen patients underwent trial electrode placement, with 15 patients undergoing permanent system placement. The most common diagnoses were idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia Type 2 (N = 8) and trigeminal neuropathic pain (N = 7). Median follow-up was 14 months (range 6–58 months). At last follow-up, 12 of 15 implanted patients (80%) were still receiving stimulation, with mean (median) pain reduction of 52.3% (47.5%). Infection and revision rates were high, although erosion and migration, which have typically plagued trigeminal PNS surgery, did not occur. Implanted systems were well-tolerated, with excellent cosmetic outcomes and high patient satisfaction that proved durable over long follow-up. Conclusions: We present a single-institution series of PNS for complex craniofacial pain involving the trigeminal nerve. The procedure is safe, effective and durable over at least one year in the large majority of a well-selected patient population.
- Craniofacial pain
- peripheral neurostimulation
- trigeminal branch stimulation
- trigeminal pain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine