Need help please

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Hello. Iv been battling chronic debilitating facial pressure/pain in my cheek jaw area on the left side and ear ringing for 4 years now. I'm pretty sure it was caused by two accidents I had both to the left side of my head in 2008 but the symptoms did not start until early 2014 and it has completely ruined my life. I'll try and go into detail and explain as much as I can. I was in a car accident late 2008 which I was ejected from the car my left side of my head hitting a tree and was knocked out unconscious the second was an ATV accident which also was the same side of my head hitting the ground also knocked unconscious. After both of the accidents I had no symptoms. I was in the hospital both times and released. Now come early 2014 it was snowing alot outside and I was shoveling everyday. I woke up with ear ringing one day and the next day the severe left sided head pressure with also the teeth and cheek area all on the left side. I went to the hospital stat. They could not find anything on the catscans or xrays and I was sent home. I went to the ER about 12 times hoping they would find something but they did not and they only thing that help with the pain was xanax. For the first few months I noticed myself at night hanging my head off the side of the bed while sleeping iv never done that before also I noticed my neck start to crack and pop as I would move it. One day my wife noticed the back left side of my neck was popping out. The muscle was in a spasm and since then has not went away. Iv been to so many doctors and specialists over the years to help me but nothing has worked other then xanax. One doctor would diagnose me trigeminal neuralgia the other occipital neuralgia etc. Recently I seen a pain management specialist and he felt the back of my neck and said from my neck being in a spasm so long there alot of scar tissue etc etc on the left side he shot steroid injections and they worked for about 5 hours then stopped and the pain came back worse. Iv lost so much over the years because of this pain including my wife and daughter. I'm not sure what direction to go at this point. Who should I see about this.

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  • Posted

    Hello, I'm no doctor, but it seems that you have a classical case of typical trigeminal neuralgia. I suffered terribly from 1983 when it started until 1998 when I had the MVD (micro vascular decompression) operation. My pain and other symptoms were just as you have but mine were on the right side. In my case, the pain was caused by a congenital condition where an inter-cranial artery was very close to the firth cranial nerve (trigeminal) on the right side.

    It sounds to me that your problem was brought about by by the resultant swelling when you had your two accidents . If the pain stays on one side of your head and tends to circle from time to time, you are indeed lucky because it sounds like your case is a typical one, that is, on one side only. Some people have atypical cases where the pain is caused by degeneration of nerve sheathing as from a disease.

    In my case the pain was initially controllable with one 200mg tablet of carbamazapine (Tegritol). That would last as long as several months. By the end of the 15 years that I suffered, I was taking something line 10 pills (2000 mg) a day and it was not working. Interestingly, TG does not seem to react to morphine-based drugs.

    Ultimately, I was able to locate a health plan within my available plans where there were several doctors who were skilled at the MVD operation. After a careful diagnosis, I had the operation in February, 1998 and this effected a complete cure.

    It if sounds like I know anything at all about TG, it's only because of the deep study of the condition that I was able to do with the advent of the Internet. As I said, I'm not a doctor and nothing mentioned here is to be considered as medical advice.

    You need to consult with your doctor or doctors to see if your case would be a proper one for the MVD operation. In my case, it was my last chance as I had become habituated to the medicine and nothing was helping.

    Regards and good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi Derrick, I’m in remission from TN ATM  but my symptoms were very different to yours. Extreme sensivity on the left side of my face, even the pressure of a shower could bring on excruciating “zaps”. I didn’t get properly diagnosed until my second bout which was way worse than the first in that I was getting random zaps rather than pain brought on from touching sensitive areas. Pain 99 out of a scale of 1 to 100. 

       I was given tegratol which had the pain under control within 48 hours and I was virtually pain free within a week. Now at the first sign of a twinge I’m straight back on the tegratol and I’m brand new within 48 hours. The down side is that it makes you very drowsy and becomes less effective over time so you have to up the dose and it’s not very friendly to your liver. Everyone is different but your symptoms don’t sound like TN to me but get a script for tegratol, if it works you have TN, if it doesn’t you probably need to look into other possibilities. Very best of luck to you.


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  • Posted

    I don't think a cat scan nor an Xray will show whether the trigeminal nerve is putting pressure on the trigeminal nerve. The only advice I can offer is for you to see a neurologist and ask for  MRI.Good Luck!!!!! Mallory

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  • Posted

    Thanks everyone for replying. I'll try and give you a little more information to maybe narrow it down more. Unfortunately the pain/pressure/distorting feeling is there all the time it only goes away when I get a really good night sleep but as soon as I start to move my head and neck does it return. I'm able to touch my face all I want and it does not intensify the pain/pressure/distorting feeling but I am able to press certain parts of my face and the back of my neck and it cuts the feelings off to my face. I recently had an MRI done of my neck and the findings where

    C3/c4 there is a minimal disc deication and a left lateral recess annular fissure 

    C5/c6 small broad central disc protrusion 

    C7/t1 there is a minimal disc bulge and minimal broad left paracentral disc protrusion. Could these findings in my neck be causing this agony and if so what should I do about it?

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