Surgical treatment of glossopharyngeal neuralgia as vascular compression syndrome via transcondylar fossa (supracondylar transjugular tubercle) approach

T Matsushima, Y Goto, Y Natori, K Matsukado, M Fukui
Acta Neurochirurgica 2000, 142 (12): 1359-63

OBJECTIVE: These are the first reported cases in whom the transcondylar fossa approach was applied for the treatment of glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN) as a vascular compression syndrome.

CASES PRESENTATION: All three cases presented with severe paroxysmal pharyngeal pain which could not be controlled by medical treatment. The patients all underwent microvascular decompression surgery (MVD) via transcondylar fossa approach. The posterior inferior cerebellar artery or the anterior inferior cerebellar artery was clearly verified to be compressing the glossopharyngeal nerve and then was safely and completely moved and fixed to the dura mater by the sling retraction technique to effect decompression. No patient has since experienced any further pain or permanent neurological deficit after surgery. TECHNICAL ADVANTAGE: The transcondylar fossa approach is one of the lateral approaches which is different from the transcondylar approach. In this approach, the posterior part of the jugular tubercle is extradurally removed without injuring the atlanto-occipital joint. The entire course of the cisternal portion of the glossopharyngeal nerve can be sufficiently seen with gentle retraction of the cerebellar hemisphere, when using this approach.

CONCLUSION: This approach makes the MVD for GPN both effective and safe.

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