Trigeminal Nerve Block/Pterygopalatine Fossa Injection (Ultrasound-Guided)

We may use this treatment for the following conditions:

  • Trigeminal neuralgia, which can cause shooting pain in the face
  • Atypical facial pain, which can cause burning or aching pain in the face or ear
  • Autonomic headaches, which cause pain in the face associated with redness in the eye, tear formation, stuffy nose and constriction of the pupil of the eye

What to Expect

During a trigeminal nerve/pterygopalatine fossa injection, you will lay on the exam table on your side. We will insert a needle below the muscle that controls your jaw, just in front of your ear. Ultrasound allows us to see the needle under the skin to guide placement close to the nerve.

Once the needle is in place, we will inject two medications: a medication to numb the area and a steroid medication to reduce inflammation in the area.

You will need to stay in the office for 30 minutes after the injection so we can monitor you for side effects and check to see your level of pain relief.

It may take up to 2 weeks for the full effect of the injection. We may repeat the injection based on the percentage of relief that you get. In a follow-up appointment and depending on the percentage of relief that you get after each injection, we can discuss pulsed nerve ablation or peripheral nerve stimulation, which can provide more permanent results.