Surgery Solves Facial Nerve Pain for Busy Mom

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Enjoli Dixon has come a long way since 2017, when a project as subdued as gardening would have been unbearable. Nearly all activities were put on hold due to extreme pain in her left cheek and jaw.

Dixon originally thought a tooth issue was causing her pain, so she saw a dentist, then an oral surgeon. At Capital Region Medical Center, a neurologist finally diagnosed her with trigeminal neuralgia. Irritation of the trigeminal nerve was causing the severe facial pain.

Thor Norregaard, MD, a neurosurgeon at MU Health Care, made an incision behind Dixon’s ear and located the trigeminal nerve resting against a blood vessel. To relieve the pressure, he moved the blood vessel and put a piece of sterile felt between it and the nerve.

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