Management of chronic severe pain: Spinal neuromodulatory and neuroablative approaches

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The spinal cord is the target of many neurosurgical procedures used to treat pain. Compactness and well-defined tract separation in addition to well understood dermatomal cord organization make the spinal cord an ideal target for pain procedures. Moreover, the presence of opioid and other receptors involved in pain modulation at the level of the dorsal horn increases the suitability of the spinal cord. Neuromodulative approaches of the spinal cord are either electrical or pharmacological. Electrical spinal cord modulation is used on a large scale for various pain syndromes including; failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), neuropathic pain, angina, and ischemic limb pain. Intraspinal delivery of medications e.g. opioids is used to treat nociceptive and neuropathic pains due to malignant and cancer pain etiologies. Neuroablation of the spinal cord pain pathway is mainly used to treat cancer pain. Targets involved include; the spinothalamic tract, the midline dorsal column visceral pain pathway and the trigeminal tract in the upper spinal cord. Spinal neuroablation can also involve cellular elements such as with trigeminal nucleotomy and the dorsal root entry zone (DREZ) operation. The DREZ operation is indicated for phantom type pain and root avulsion injuries. Due to its reversible nature spinal neuromodulation prevails, and spinal neuroablation is performed in a few select cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
JournalActa Neurochirurgica, Supplementum
Issue number97 PART 1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

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Chronic Pain
Spinal Cord
Pain
Spinal Nerve Roots
Neuralgia
Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
Spinothalamic Tracts
Complex Regional Pain Syndromes
Visceral Pain
Phantom Limb
Neurosurgical Procedures
Nociceptive Pain
Opioid Receptors
Opioid Analgesics
Extremities
Pharmacology
Wounds and Injuries

Keywords

  • chronic pain
  • neuroablation
  • Neuromodulation
  • spinal
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "The spinal cord is the target of many neurosurgical procedures used to treat pain. Compactness and well-defined tract separation in addition to well understood dermatomal cord organization make the spinal cord an ideal target for pain procedures. Moreover, the presence of opioid and other receptors involved in pain modulation at the level of the dorsal horn increases the suitability of the spinal cord. Neuromodulative approaches of the spinal cord are either electrical or pharmacological. Electrical spinal cord modulation is used on a large scale for various pain syndromes including; failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), neuropathic pain, angina, and ischemic limb pain. Intraspinal delivery of medications e.g. opioids is used to treat nociceptive and neuropathic pains due to malignant and cancer pain etiologies. Neuroablation of the spinal cord pain pathway is mainly used to treat cancer pain. Targets involved include; the spinothalamic tract, the midline dorsal column visceral pain pathway and the trigeminal tract in the upper spinal cord. Spinal neuroablation can also involve cellular elements such as with trigeminal nucleotomy and the dorsal root entry zone (DREZ) operation. The DREZ operation is indicated for phantom type pain and root avulsion injuries. Due to its reversible nature spinal neuromodulation prevails, and spinal neuroablation is performed in a few select cases.",
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