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Spinal cord stimulation for the treatment of Buerger disease: a report on 3 cases.

OBJECTIVES: Buerger disease (or thromboangeiitis obliterans) is an inflammatory disease of the medium and small caliber arteries and veins that predominantly affects young males and presents with ischemia in the hands or the feet. It is closely associated with smoking. Critical ischemia of the lower limbs is a threat to the survival of the patient s extremities, and often disables its victims severely. This takes on an even greater significance in younger individuals who are still actively employed, as is the case in patients suffering from Buerger disease. Our aim was to evaluate the efficiency of the spinal cord stimulation as an alternative therapeutic option in acute stages of Buerger disease.

RESULTS AND METHODS: We present a case series of males under the age of 45 years, diagnosed with thromboangeiitis obliterans and all of them were in the acute phase of the disease. They were satisfactorily treated with an implantable spinal cord stimulation device.

DISCUSSION: Spinal cord stimulation is an accepted therapy for the treatment of chronic ischemic pain and ulcer healing and to avoid amputation in patients with severe, nonrevascularisable peripheral occlusive arteriopathy, and specially in the subgroup of patients with Buerger disease. It should not only be considered as a last resort strategy for pain control, but as a valid therapeutic option to improve perfusion of the limbs in the initial stages of the disease, however larger studies still remain necessary.

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