Comparative Study Regarding Efficacy of Radiofrequency Rhizotomy and the Microvascular Decompression in the Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia

  • ABDUL MAJID Department of Neurosurgery, PGMI/Lahore General Hospital, Lahore
  • MUHAMMAD FAROOQ Department of Neurosurgery, PGMI/Lahore General Hospital, Lahore
  • MUHAMMAD SHAKIR Department of Neurosurgery, PGMI/Lahore General Hospital, Lahore
  • ZUBAIR MUSTAFA KHAN Department of Neurosurgery, PGMI/Lahore General Hospital, Lahore
  • SAJID IQBAL Department of Neurosurgery, PGMI/Lahore General Hospital, Lahore
Keywords: Microvascular decompression, Radiofrequency Rhizotomy, Trigeminal Neuralgia


Objective: Trigeminal neuralgia is the lancinating electric shock like pain because of neurovascular compression in trigeminal nerve distribution. We compared the efficacy of radiofrequency rhizotomy with microvascular decompression in terms of complete pain relief.
Material and Methods: The randomized controlled trial study was conducted in the neurosurgery department, LGH Lahore for a period of one year June 2017 to June 2018. A total of 110 patients were included and distributed into two groups, i.e. group-I who underwent radiofrequency rhizotomy (RFR) and group-II who underwent microvascular decompression (MVD). Follow-up of all the patients was assured up to six months. All the data were analyzed using S.P.S.S Ver. 23.0.
Results: There were 38 (34.6%) male and 72(65.4%) female. Mean age was 51.25 ± 8.80 years. At the end of six months, in Group-I (RFR), Nineteen (34.5%) patients were completely pain free, 25 (45.5%) patients had significant pain relief, 7 (12.7%) had mild improvement in the pain and 4 (7.3%) patients had no improvement in the pain. In group-II (MVD), 30 (54.5%) patients were completely pain free, 14 (25.5%) had significant pain relief, 9 (16.4%) had mild improvement and 2 (3.6%) had no improvement in their pain (Chi-square = 6.49, p = 0.090).
Conclusion: Microvascular decompression had better results than a radiofrequency rhizotomy in patients presenting with trigeminal neuralgia regarding excellent pain relief and fewer complications.


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Original Article