Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Expert Forum
atypical trigeminal neuralgia
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Questions in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery forum are answered by Dr. Michael H Kirsch and Dr. Mario Tuchman. Topics covered include teeth extractions, wisdom teeth, dental implants, bone grafting, orthognathic surgery, facial bones realignment, facial trauma repair, jaw alignment, anesthesia , jaw cyst or tumor diagnosis, reconstructive jaw surgery, temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) and TMJ surgery.

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atypical trigeminal neuralgia

Hello there,

I am 26 years old and I had a maxillofacial surgery almost exactly 3 years ago during which metal plates and screws were drilled into my jawbones and cheek areas. I checked online and my surgeon has retired since so I have no idea how to contact him. I have never had a headache in my life. Then, out of the nowhere, for the past 10 days I have had non stop burning, agonizing headaches, numbness and burning in my face and around the back of my neck. My forehead is just pounding burning constantly. My MRI showed up clean so my doctors said this is stress related. But the pain is so excruciating and wasn't ending so after hours of searching online, I came up with atypical trigeminal neuralgia which as horrified as I am, seems to fit my symptoms? I am going to discuss this with my neurologist tomorrow because this can not be normal pain. Is it possible that the screws or metal plates are pressing or damaging the trigeminal nerve? the pain seems to be centered near my right temple to beginning of my right jaw bone under my ear, but its exploding all over my face with painful sensations like a pulsing burning scalp and  tingling sensations in my neck and arms. There has just been no relief and from what I have read of ATN, its only going to get worse. I am definitely going to look into medication but the pain is getting so bad I'm ready to have a surgical procedure like a microvascular decompression if it will help. Please any ideas at all? I'm so scared to go on like this, it just came out of no where.
373693_tn?1324489102
The pain you have described can be very frightening to people and you are not alone.

One of the conditions that can cause pain as you are experiencing is called Temporal Arteritis.  Trigeminal Neuralgia and Atypical Facial Pain also fit.  There are other tests the neurologist may recommend.

Many patients I have seen have experienced complete remission of their symptoms without surgery.  Some forever, some for many years.  Don't get discouraged.  

Simply because the MRI was negative does NOT mean your condition is caused solely by stress.  Whoever told you that is not only insensitive but probably lacking in the appropriate knowledge to properly diagnose and treat your specific symptoms.

You should keep your appointment with the neurologist.

Good luck and keep us posted on diagnosis.
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Michael H Kirsch, DDSBlank
Dr. Michael H. Kirsch
Caldwell, NJ
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