DOI: 10.1177/01455613231189950 ISSN: 0145-5613

A Case Report of Refractory Postherpetic Neuralgia After Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Treated With Tympanic Nerve Neurectomy

Ashwini Sarathy, Clemens An, Mirabelle Sajisevi, William Brundage
  • Otorhinolaryngology

Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a facial nerve palsy that arises from herpes zoster infection. In rare cases, postherpetic neuralgia is a complication following Ramsay Hunt syndrome. Pain management to address postherpetic neuralgia includes facial nerve blocks, medications such as gabapentin, carbamazepine and botulinum toxin injections, and pulsed radiofrequency. Despite the reported benefits for patients with glossopharyngeal nerve pain, neurectomy as a treatment has rarely been described. A 45-year-old patient visited our ENT clinic for chronic right-sided facial, ear, and jaw pain that persisted for 9 years following the development of Ramsay Hunt syndrome. She trialed multiple medications including gabapentin, carbamazepine, and botulinum toxin injections with minimal relief to her symptoms. The patient underwent a diagnostic myringotomy with topical application of lidocaine to the tympanic nerve. This resulted in temporary relief of her pain until the effects of the lidocaine subsided. The patient was subsequently offered lysis of the right tympanic nerve for more definitive management. The patient experienced significant pain reduction after the right tympanic neurectomy procedure. Chronic postherpetic neuralgia following Ramsay Hunt syndrome can cause significant impairment in a patient’s quality of life. For patients with ear pain refractory to conservative management, a tympanic neurectomy can be considered.

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