Geniculate Neuralgia

Geniculate neuralgia occurs when a blood vessel presses on the nerve that controls taste and facial expressions. It sometimes develops after a person has had the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles.

Overview

Symptoms

Geniculate symptoms may include:

  • A bitter taste in the mouth 
  • Dizziness or a sense of falling (vertigo)
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) 
  • Excess saliva
  • Loss of hearing

Diagnosis

First, you’ll meet with your doctor for a physical exam. You’ll talk about your symptoms, and your doctor may order imaging tests, such as MRI or CT scans.

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Treatment Options

If you have geniculate neuralgia, your Aurora care team, which includes neurologists and neurosurgeons, will work with you to tailor a treatment plan to meet your needs. 

Treatments may include:

  • Anti-seizure and antidepressant medications
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery using CyberKnife®, in which a non-invasive, robotic system delivers high-dose radiation therapy to tumors with pinpoint accuracy 
  • Microvascular decompression, in which surgeons remove a small section at the base of the skull or above the ear to reach the affected nerve. A surgeon may insert a thin pad between the vessel and the nerve to stop the blood vessel from pressing on the nerve. 

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