Nerve Decompression for Headache
Nerve decompression is a highly effective option for providing relief to individuals who suffer from facial, head and neck pain as well as chronic migraines, particularly in those patient who have not received the relief they need from other non-surgical options. There are several different types of nerve decompression treatments designed to address the compression of specific nerves that are triggering chronic migraines. Finding the best option for addressing chronic migraines will depend on a number of factors. Outcomes reported in the literature are as high as 70-80% success. The primary risk of these surgeries is numbness, which is rarely bothersome to the patient.
Supraorbital and Supratrochlear Nerve compression
The supraorbital and supratrochlear nerves are located in the forehead, at the border of the eye and the brow. It is comprised of a network of small nerve endings and is known to be a common area where nerve compression occurs. This type of compression tends to cause severe pain in the back of the eyes and forehead.
The procedure for addressing supraorbital nerve compression is performed via a small incision in the eyelid – the same that is used for an eye lift. The surgery is done jointly with a neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon. The source of the compression can then be identified. The source of the compression may be scar tissue, pressure from surrounding muscles, or a number of other potential problems.
The greater occipital nerve is responsible for providing sensation to the back and top of the head. This nerve is a common location for migraine triggers and causes pain that can be felt in the back of the head, behind the eyes, and along the upper neck. Chronic pain in the occipital nerve is referred to as occipital neuralgia. This issue primarily occurs as the result of significant trauma to the area. Car accidents are a common cause of this condition. Physical stress, bone tumors, repetitive neck contractions, and other medical complications can also cause occipital neuralgia.
Occipital neuralgia surgery involves removing tissue around the occipital nerve to reduce the compression of the nerve so that it can function properly. The procedure is minimally invasive and provides a noticeable decrease in chronic pain which helps to restore the patients quality of life.
Zygomatic, zygomaticotemporal, auriculotemporal nerves
These nerves are located between the ear and the eye and can be associated with pain in the temples. These can be accessed through a small incision in front of the ear, at the hairline.