Invasive treatment to control neuropathic pain

José Oswaldo de Oliveira Júnior Cláudio Fernandes Corrêa Jânio Alves Ferreira About the authors



Distress, allied to neuropathic pain persistence and its refractory nature, often leads patients to accept invasive procedures. Neuropathic pain control is a major medical challenge requiring approaches and decisions especially based on effectiveness, risks and costs. This study aimed at reviewing these aspects related to major invasive procedures.


Major invasive procedures to control neuropathic pain are presented. Initially, classically reversible anesthetic blocks; then invasive neuromodulation techniques using electric current application and the magnetic field generated by it becomes a target to be stimulated, inhibited or modified in the nervous system (central, peripheral or autonomic); and, finally, ablative procedures including anesthetic methods administering neurolytic agents rather than anesthetics and neurosurgeries using different methods to injure the nervous system to control painful neuropathic discomfort.


Patients eligible to invasive procedures to control neuropathic pain have, in addition to pain itself, a mixed distress including the collection of repeated delusions at every treatment failure. They have reserved prognosis with regard to total cure and, unfortunately, relieve obtained with invasive treatment in general does not reach persistent and high rates. In such adverse situation, these partial results of decreasing original pain intensity may be interpreted as acceptable, provided the impact on final quality of life is positive. Maybe, the rare exceptions are good results obtained with typical idiopathic/cryptogenic neuralgias ironically excluded from the stricter interpretation of the new pathophysiologic classification of neuropathic pains.

Anesthetic blocks; Cordectomy; Cortical electrical stimulation; Deep electrical brain stimulation; DREZotomy; Invasive neuromodulation; Medullary electrical stimulation; Neurolytic blocks; Neuropathic pain; Neurosurgery for neuropathic pain; Spinal drugs

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