What is it about?

This is a case report of an adolescent boy who suffered from deep, stabbing ear pain. This pain caused him much distress and interfered with his life. He felt this pain in both ears, but more so on the left. Through a thorough medical work up, the boy was found to have a rare disorder of one of the nerves in his face, which caused the excruciating pain to his ears. Such a condition is known as geniculate neuralgia. Medications used to treat painful nerves were applied by a team of neurosurgeons and neurologists, but unfortunately did not help with his pain. Surgical treatment was then planned, with the left-sided surgery first. Months after surgeries on both sides of the head, the boy is free of excruciating ear pain.

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Why is it important?

This case report adds to a very limited number of studies on this rare clinical problem. Moreover this is the only such report of the rare condition being successfully treated on both sides of a head in a pediatric patient. This case shows that these kinds of rare cranial nerve disorders can be treated with surgery--regardless of age--in patients who are appropriately selected for surgery.


Getting to work with this patient and his family was a great pleasure for me, and our team is happy our patient did well. I'm so thankful for the support and collaboration with my co-author.

Derek George

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Geniculate neuralgia in an adolescent treated via sectioning of the nervus intermedius and microvascular decompression, Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics, August 2020, Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group (JNSPG), DOI: 10.3171/2020.3.peds19584.
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