Conflicts of intracranial arteries and nerves can cause neurological symptoms. The most common cranial nerve vascular compression syndromes are the trigeminal, glossopharyngeal and the spasm of the facial nerve. Patients may experience severe flashing pain in the facial area (trigeminal nerve) or throat and tongue (glossopharyngeal nerve). The attacks typically last seconds and they can occur both spontaneously or triggered by stimuli such as touch, chewing, speaking, swallowing or brushing teeth.
If medical treatment fails, surgery is an option for these patients. With microvascular decompression (Janetta surgery) the vessel is moved away from the cranial nerve. An alternative surgical technique for trigeminal neuralgia are percutaneous methods such as thermocoagulation and Alcohol rhizolysis or radiosurgery as well as electrical stimulation techniques.