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Neurologia. 2013 Jun;28(5):294-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2012.06.009. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

Treatment of orofacial pain in patients with stylomandibular ligament syndrome (Ernest Syndrome).

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Facultad de Medicina y Odontología, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain.



Ernest syndrome involves the stylomandibular ligament. It is characterised by pain in the preauricular area and mandibular angle, radiating to the neck, shoulder, and eye on the same side, and associated with pain during palpation of that ligament. The purpose of this study is to describe the clinical characteristics, treatment, and course of the disease in a series of patients with Ernest syndrome.


Retrospective observational study covering the period from 1998 to 2008. We recorded patients' age, sex, duration of the disorder, and pain characteristics. All patients were injected with 40mg triamcinolone acetonide at the mandibular insertion of the stylomandibular ligament.


The study included a total of 6 patients. Mean age was 40.3 years (range, 35-51). All of the subjects were women. Four patients had undergone lengthy dental treatments in the month prior to onset of the pain. The mean time between pain onset and first consultation was 23 months. The syndrome resolved completely in all cases after treatment, with a minimum follow-up period of 12 months.


We analysed the clinical characteristics, treatment, and course of disease in 6 patients with Ernest syndrome. Correct diagnosis is the key to being able to provide proper treatment. This disorder is sometimes confused with other types of orofacial pain, and may therefore be more prevalent than the literature would indicate.

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