The pain cycle: implications for the diagnosis and treatment of pelvic pain syndromes

K Everaert, J Devulder, M De Muynck, S Stockman, H Depaepe, D De Looze, J Van Buyten, W Oosterlinck
International Urogynecology Journal and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction 2001, 12 (1): 9-14
The aim of the study was to report our results of sacral nerve stimulation in patients with pelvic pain after failed conservative treatment. From 1992 to August 1998 we treated 111 patients (40 males, 71 females, ages 46 +/- 16 years) with chronic pelvic pain. All patients with causal treatment were excluded from this study. Pelvic floor training, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and intrarectal or intravaginal electrostimulation were applied and sacral nerve stimulation was used for therapy-resistant pain. The outcome of conservative treatment and sacral nerve stimulation (VAS <3/10; >50% pain relief) was related to symptoms of voiding dysfunction and dyschezia, and urodynamic proof of dysfunctional voiding, not to the pain localization or treatment modality. Outcome was inversely related to neuropathic pain. When conservative treatment failed, a test stimulation of the S3 root was effective in 16/26 patients, and 11 patients were implanted successfully with a follow-up of 36 +/- 8 months. So far no late failures have been seen. A longer test stimulation is needed in patients with pelvic pain because of a higher incidence of initial false positive tests. Our conclusion is that sacral nerve stimulation is effective in the treatment of therapy-resistant pelvic pain syndromes linked to pelvic floor dysfunction.

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