Types of Trigeminal Neuralgia: Typical vs. Atypical

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is an excruciating nerve disorder that occurs when a blood vessel compresses the trigeminal nerve, the largest nerve in the head, and causes debilitating pain in various parts of the face and jaw region.

Trigeminal neuralgia is categorized as typical or atypical, and symptoms typically differ depending on the type:

  • Typical: Typical TN is the most common form. Patients suffer from unpredictable episodes of stabbing, electric shock-like pain in a consistent location. The pain can be reproduced by touching a “trigger point” on the face or performing a specific activity like chewing or talking.
  • Atypical: Atypical TN patients experience a persistent dull ache or burning sensation in one part of the face. However, episodes of sharp pain can complicate atypical TN. In contrast to typical TN, there is usually not a specific trigger point for the pain, and it can grow worse over time.

Oklahoma CyberKnife treats TN with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). To treat a patient with TN, the CyberKnife® targets and delivers radiation to a segment of the trigeminal nerve to interrupt pain-causing fibers. The pinpoint accuracy of the procedure reduces exposure to healthy tissue and minimizes side effects.

Contact our center here for more information on CyberKnife treatment for TN or to schedule a consultation.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.