Radial Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy in an Individual With Primary Trigeminal Neuralgia: A Case Report and Literature Review

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A patient with primary trigeminal neuralgia exhibited pain relief without medication after radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy. The 52-yr-old woman had a 3-yr history of primary trigeminal neuralgia, involving the right maxillary division (V2) and the mandibular division (V3). She became refractory to carbamazepine and exhibited hepatic dysfunction. She hence received 3000 to 6000 impulses of craniofacial radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy to the region centered on the surface projection of the trigeminal ganglion and pain areas at 10 Hz; the intensity ranged from 1.4 to 4.5 bars twice per week for 8 wks. At baseline, and 1, 2, and 5 mos after treatment, the Barrow Neurological Institute scores were IV, IIIa, II, and II, and the visual analog scale scores were 8, 3, 1, and 1, respectively. No complications or adverse effects were observed. The hepatic function returned to normal after the discontinuation of carbamazepine. This case report demonstrates the feasibility of radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy for primary trigeminal neuralgia without complications or adverse effects with careful regulation of the therapy intensity.

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