Glossopharyngeal Nerve Entrapment

  • Agnes R. StogiczaEmail author
  • Andrea M. Trescot


Glossopharyngeal nerve (GN) is the ninth cranial nerve, with a short course from the jugular foramen to the ear and throat. It carries sensory, motor, and autonomic fibers. Glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN) is a rare disorder, with patients usually complaining about short paroxysms of pain at the ear, tonsils, throat, and jaw. Swallowing, chewing, or talking usually provokes this potentially severe GPN pain. The diagnosis of idiopathic GPN is mainly based on the patient’s history, clinical symptoms and exclusion of other pathology. It is verified by diagnostic injection that can be performed either at the styloid level or at the tonsillar fossa. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, neurolytic procedures or occasionally open surgery can provide relief.


Glossopharyngeal neuralgia Ear pain Throat pain Jaw pain Eagle’s syndrome 

Supplementary material

Video 26.1

Glossopharyngeal nerve exam (MOV 52210 kb)

Video 26.2

Glossopharyngeal landmark-guided injection (MOV 58922 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Pain MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Pain and Headache CenterAnchorageUSA

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