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J Craniofac Surg. 2013 May;24(3):e286-9. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31828f2b39.

Microvascular decompression for the patient with painful tic convulsif after Bell palsy.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Xinhua Hospital/The Cranial Nerve Disease Center of Shanghai, Shanghai, China.


Painful tic convulsif is referred to as the concurrent trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm. However, painful tic convulsif after ipsilateral Bell palsy has never been reported before. We report a case of a 77-year-old woman with coexistent trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm who had experienced Bell palsy half a year ago. The patient underwent microvascular decompression. Intraoperatively, the vertebrobasilar artery was found to deviate to the symptomatic side and a severe adhesion was observed in the cerebellopontine angle. Meanwhile, an ectatic anterior inferior cerebellar artery and 2 branches of the superior cerebellar artery were identified to compress the caudal root entry zone (REZ) of the VII nerve and the rostroventral cisternal portion of the V nerve, respectively. Postoperatively, the symptoms of spasm ceased immediately and the pain disappeared within 3 months. In this article, the pathogenesis of the patient's illness was discussed and it was assumed that the adhesions developed from inflammatory reactions after Bell palsy and the anatomic features of the patient were the factors that generated the disorder. Microvascular decompression surgery is the suggested treatment of the disease, and the dissection should be started from the caudal cranial nerves while performing the operation.

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