The trigeminal nerve carries sensory perception from facial structures to the brain. Nerve injuries of the face can impact sensory nerves, as well as motor nerves that enable facial expression. The outer branches of the trigeminal nerve can be injured as a result of a dental procedure, jaw fracture, stroke and other related causes.
Sensory nerve damage typically causes numbness or diminished sensory perception at first, but can progress to persistent pain if left untreated. Trigeminal nerve microsurgery enables a surgeon to explore and examine the injured nerve under high-power magnification, identify the problem area, and repair the injury. Early diagnosis and surgical intervention can improve the chance of restoring normal sensation in the face.
The facial nerve provides motor function to the muscles that enable facial expression. Injury to this nerve can result in asymmetrical or uneven facial animation, or complete paralysis of a portion of the face. This type of injury can be caused by a cranial base fracture or a penetrating injury such as a stabbing or gunshot.
Complete recovery from a facial nerve injury is possible with early identification and repair of the lacerations. However, the outcomes are less predictable when the facial nerve is injured near the cranial base. The resulting facial paralysis can be treated through a combination of surgery and physical therapy with a goal of enhancing facial animation and symmetry. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical, so schedule a consultation with Dr. Haghighi today.