What is Geniculate Neuralgia?
Geniculate neuralgia is a condition that is caused by a small nerve (the nervus intermedius) being compressed by a blood vessel.
Geniculate neuralgia results in severe, deep ear pain which is usually sharp—often described as an "ice pick in the ear"—but may also be dull and burning. Ear pain can also be accompanied by facial pain.
This pain can be triggered by stimulation of the ear canal, or can follow swallowing or talking.
Doctors will typically prescribe treatment with medication before recommending surgery. If surgery is required, UPMC’s neurosurgeons may recommend Microvascular Decompression. Microvascular decompression is a surgical procedure that relieves abnormal compression of a cranial nerve.