Occipital Neuralgia Surgery

by Mark McLaughlin, MD, FACS

Surgical treatment for occipital neuralgia is sometime required. In this video, Dr. McLaughlin explains the key points that will be considered.

Some experts have used peripheral nerve stimulators for this condition. This involves a general anesthetic, and surgically placing wire around the occipital nerve. A pulse generator is also implanted to deliver electrical stimulation to suppress the pain.

Other options include surgical division or section of the nerve. This procedure is called rhizotomy or nerve section, and almost always reduces the pain. The downside of rhizotomy is that once the nerve is sectioned, there is numbness in the distribution of the nerve... typically in the back of the head. Also, sometimes the pain can return, but usually rhizotomy effectively decreases or eliminates the pain.

 

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Mark

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