SUDDEN or paroxysmal jabs of knife or electric-like pains attacking the second or third and occasionally the first division of the fifth nerve in persons usually past the fifth decade of life, which are initiated by a slight stimulus, such as a draft of air, movement of eating or talking, washing the face, or even slight touch, and which leave the patient with a haunting dread of the next attack, are the typical signs of trigeminal neuralgia, also known as tic douloureux, trifacial neuralgia, or Fothergill's disease. The cause and pathology remain a mystery, but the diagnosis is obvious.
Many procedures have been devised to improve on the surgical treatment of this entity, following the early methods of Rose,1 Andrews (cited by Davis2) and others of excising the ganglion through the base of the skull. In 1891, Horsley3 divided the posterior root of the ganglion, but the
CLEVELAND D, KIEFER EJ. DECOMPRESSION OF GANGLION AND POSTERIOR ROOT OF FIFTH NERVE FOR TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA. AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1954;59(1):30-35. doi:10.1001/archotol.1954.00710050042003