What is the role of a trigeminal ganglion block in pain management?

Updated: Jun 19, 2018
  • Author: Anthony H Wheeler, MD; Chief Editor: Meda Raghavendra (Raghu), MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Trigeminal ganglion block commonly is used for diagnostic and prognostic purposes when considering trigeminal neurolysis for patients with trigeminal neuralgia. The trigeminal ganglion is located intracranially, situated lateral to the internal carotid artery and cavernous sinus and posterosuperior to the foramen ovale.

The foramen ovale is approximately 1 cm in diameter and serves as the cranial opening through which the mandibular nerve exits; it lies approximately in the same horizontal plane as the zygoma at the level of the mandibular notch, immediately dorsolateral to the pterygoid process. See the images below.

Anatomy of the fifth cranial nerve (trigeminal) ga Anatomy of the fifth cranial nerve (trigeminal) ganglion and foramen ovale (cross-sectional view).
Lateral view of mandibular notch and plane of zygo Lateral view of mandibular notch and plane of zygoma. Correlate with cross-sectional view of the fifth cranial nerve (trigeminal) ganglion and foramen ovale.

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