Saturday, January 5, 2013
Lecture on Surgical Treatments for CRPS: A Small Piece of the Pie but Crucial for some
This is not a topic that most patients with pain want to think about. The surgical treatment for pain is a rapidly advancing field. Dr Dean Willis presents a passionate lecture on the difference between pain and suffering which is so right on. When we talk about helping patients in pain, we really are not talking about the subset of patients that have RSD or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. These are patients who are truly suffering. Their lives deeply affected by their pain. Suffering literally always carries a deeper darker sadder meaning than the word "pain" implies. It is for those patients that sympathetic spinal nerve blocks can help when other treatments fail. It is for those patients when the sympathetic spinal nerve blocks do not help (when the nerve pain has centralized in the spinal cord, not in the peripheral limbs) that Spinal Cord Stimulators or Infusion Pumps can change the suffering down to managable pain. I was glad to hear Dr Willis emphasize that a percutaneous (electrode implanted just under the skin) trial can be done, and that it rarely ever flares up the pain cycle. I know, since the time of his lecture, further advances have been made.