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The Quiet Network of Neurosurgical Care

By Philip E. Stieg

Chairman and Neurosurgeon-in-Chief
Margaret and Robert J. Hariri, MD ’87, PhD ’87 Professor of Neurological Surgery

I recently received an effusive thank you note from a woman I’ve never met, and whose surgery I did not perform. She lives on the other side of the country, and she had been in terrible pain for a year from a condition called glossopharyngeal neuralgia. As the name suggests, this condition causes pain in the throat, tongue, and ear. It’s often caused by a compression of the glossopharyngeal nerve, which transmits information between these structures and the brain. It’s similar to other conditions of the craniofacial nerves, including trigeminal neuralgia.