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Signs and symptoms, quality of life and psychosocial data in 1331 post-traumatic trigeminal neuropathy patients seen in two tertiary referral centres in two countries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fréderic Van der Cruyssen, Frederik Peeters, Thomas Gill, Antoon De Laat, Reinhilde Jacobs, Constantinus Politis, Tara Renton

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1212-1221
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Issue number10
Early online date20 Jul 2020
Accepted/In press10 Jul 2020
E-pub ahead of print20 Jul 2020
Published1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


King's Authors


BACKGROUND: Post-traumatic trigeminal neuropathy (PTN) is a disturbance of function or pathological change of the trigeminal nerve branches following trauma and has an important impact on patient's quality of life (QoL).

OBJECTIVES: To provide diagnostic data on PTN and illustrate differences in aetiology, injured nerve, pain distribution, sensory profile and QoL between PTN subgroups.

METHODS: 1331 patients with painful or non-painful PTN were retrospectively reviewed in two centres, extracting demographic data, time and cause of trauma, clinical findings including signs and symptoms, basic neurosensory testing, imaging modalities, treatments, and QoL or psychosocial assessment.

RESULTS: More females were represented (70%) than males. The inferior alveolar nerve was most frequently damaged (60%) followed by the lingual nerve (28%). Wisdom teeth removal was considered the main cause (48%). Pain was reported in 63% of patients and pain frequency increased with age without clinically significant gender differences. Numbness was reported in 50% of PTN patients. Neurosensory testing showed larger affected dermatome involvement in persistent injuries, with no differences between the non-painful and painful PTN groups. Patient clustering indicated different sensory profile distributions when stratified according to aetiology or affected nerve branch. High interference with lifestyle was reported (78%), and patients suffering from painful PTN had worse QoL and psychosocial outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Patients with painful PTN had different clinical profiles and lower QoL scores than those with non-painful PTN. Sensory profiles may provide important prognostic and therapeutic information; however, more research is needed to assess the clustering procedure and link these clusters to therapeutic guidelines.

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