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Improved Outcomes in Patient’s with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Utilizing Ganglion Block And Adjuvant Alpha Stimulation 2013

Category Interventional Paul N. Olson
Purpose Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a debilitating condition for many patients.  Treatments often include ganglion blockade to reduce symptoms of pain with edema, limited mobility of the affected limb, altered skin temperature and rapid fatigue.   These symptoms typically arise following strain injuries, surgery, fractures, and crush injuries.  Retrospective Meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the efficacy of ganglion blockade and adjuvant treatment Alpha-Stim. Materials & Methods Retrospective meta-analysis of 51 consecutive patients who were referred with the diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) for ganglion blockade between March 2006 and September 2010 was performed.  17 patients had upper extremity symptoms and 34 patients had lower extremity symptoms.  25 patients (8 upper extremity and 17 lower extremity) were treated with only with sequential ganglion blockade.  26 patients (9 upper extremity and 17 lower extremity) were treated with ganglion blockade and with adjuvant Alpha-Stim treatments.  Alpha Stim (microcurrent stimulation) has been shown to be effective in pain management(1).  Outcomes were evaluated based upon a greater than 60% reduction of symptoms for 6 months following introduction to the treatment. Results 8 upper extremity patients with ganglion block alone received an average of 3.5 injections with 5 patients achieving the outcome goals.  The 9 patients treated with ganglion block and Alpha-Stim averaged 1.2 injection (7 patients with one injection and 2 patients requiring two injections) with 9 patients achieving the outcome goals. 17 lower extremity patients with ganglion block alone received an average of 3.5 injections with 4 patients achieving the outcome goal.  The 17 patients treated with ganglion block and Alpha-Stim averaged 1.8 injections with 14 patients achieving the outcome goals. Conclusion Alpha-Stim offers improved outcomes in conjunction with Ganglion Blockade in the treatment of CRPS and shortens the duration of symptoms. References
  1. Is microcurrent stimulation effective in pain management? An additional perspective. American Journal of Pain Management, 11(2):62-66, 2001.