Other surgical interventions

Pain Pract. 2006 Mar;6(1):58-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-2500.2006.00060.x.


Optimal management of patients with chronic neuropathic pain requires a multidisciplinary approach that may include surgery. Yet despite the fact that lumbosacral spinal surgery, for example, is performed in thousands of patients every year, there is very little controlled clinical data to support its use or that of other surgical techniques in the treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain, especially neuropathic pain. Nevertheless, there is evidence of some success for ablative techniques such as dorsal root entry zone lesioning for phantom limb pain and girdle-zone neuropathic pain, and sympathectomy for the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome, and a variety of operations for tic douloureux. However, before considering a surgical procedure, a nonsurgical approach should have been tried and the suitability of the patient must be carefully assessed. To fully establish the role of surgery in the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain, further well-designed, prospective, controlled trials are essential.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neuralgia / physiopathology
  • Neuralgia / surgery*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / standards*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / trends*
  • Patient Selection
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / surgery*
  • Phantom Limb / physiopathology
  • Phantom Limb / surgery
  • Rhizotomy / methods
  • Rhizotomy / standards
  • Rhizotomy / trends
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sympathectomy / methods
  • Sympathectomy / standards
  • Sympathectomy / trends
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia / physiopathology
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia / surgery