Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in the treatment of postherpetic pain

M Meglio, B Cioni, A Prezioso, G Talamonti
Acta Neurochirurgica. Supplementum 1989, 46: 65-6
SCS is considered to be of poor value in treating postherpetic pain. We have retrospectively analyzed the results obtained in 10 patients suffering from postherpetic neuralgia. An epidural electrode was implanted, aiming the tip in a position where stimulation could produce paraesthesiae over the painful area. At the end of the test period 6 out of 10 patients reporting a mean analgesia of 52.5% underwent a permanent implant. At mean follow-up (15 months) all the 6 patients were still reporting a satisfactory pain relief (74% of mean analgesia). These figures remained unchanged at the next follow-ups (max 46 months). The result of SCS in our patients, although positive in only 60% of them, are remarkably stable with time. We therefore recommend a percutaneous test trial of SCS in every case of postherpetic neuralgia resistent to medical treatment.

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