On 18th Aug '08 I had 4 wisdom teeth removed under G.A. at a UK hospital. The operation took 90 mins. Over the next 7 to 10 days I had intense pain, facial swelling/bruising and most worryingly very strong numbness and pain to the left hand side/front of my tongue and under my chin.
Between Aug and Oct '08 I attended the hospital with regards to the numbness. I still had intense numbness in the left hand side of my tongue as well as under my chin. These areas however were NEVER without a loss of complete feeling so I had hope at this stage. Upon speaking to consultants I was informed if the feeling had not returned completely after 3 months it would not return to normal. Other consultants said the same thing but stated 6 months, 1 year, or even 18 months - 2 years as the "permanent injury" point. Surgery was mentioned as an option but they stated that the risk of futher injury was "high". I asked how I have the numbness and the best answers I got were the nerve was stretched during a difficult extraction. The consultants stated that it was unlikely the nerve was severed due to some feeling being in my affected areas.
In Nov '08 I got virtually complete feeling back in my chin. I have about 65% feeling in the affected areas of my tongue, although no real improvement for 2 months. Whilst I feel things on the affected area of my tongue very well I have a very odd sensation INSIDE my tongue. I realise this can't be the case but I still feel a strong numbness/discomfort/pain despite having the feeling I do. I had a consultation last week. I was told surgery was not an option due to the feeling I have. I was also infomed it was "unlikely" nearly 7 months on I would make a full recovery. I am taking no medication. I was put on nerve blocking tablets for 1-2 months however this gave me involuntary hand movements so I came off them. I still feel a great level of discomfort, pain, numbness. Can you offer any hope or advice?
Unfortunately the injury may not heal completely without sugery. There are a wide variety of opinions with regard to nerve injuries, treatments and outcomes.
I would seek an opinion from a consultant who actually performs repair procedures on this nerve on a routine basis. There have been reported cases of spontaneous recovery even at 12 months post-injury.
The three month rule is currently appropriate with regard to a high percentage of cases. If you are experiencing and type of pain or discomfort then surgery may be the only viable permanent option. Chronic pain is a debilitating condition and is not tolerated as well as anesthesia.
There certainly are risks for this type of procedure and you must ultimately make the decision that is best for you. I know it's not the easiest thing to hear but it's really going to be up to you either way.
Keep us posted and best luck!
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