Successful use of stellate ganglion block and pulsed radiofrequency in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: a case report

Pain Res Treat. 2010;2010:963948. doi: 10.1155/2010/963948. Epub 2010 May 24.


Objective. To report our successful treatment of acute symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By the use of stellate ganglion block (SGB) and pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) to the stellate ganglion(SG) , sequentially. Background. A 48-year-old male a victim of armed robbery , who presented with extreme symptoms consistent with the diagnosis of PTSD. He was treated with antianxiety medications, as well as psychotherapy, but his symptoms persisted. Methods. Fifty-five days post trauma, we administered a SGB to the patient. One month later, we administered PRF to the right SG . We repeated the pulsed radiofrequency 30 weeks post trauma and performed a second SGB two weeks after that. Results. After the SGB , the patient experienced a major reduction in anxiety. Over the next week his improved allowing a significant reduction of antianxiety medications. One month later the symptoms returned and again subsided substantially following PRF , and that relief lasted four months. The patient than required another following PRF and a SGB with good responses. Conclusion. We report that selective blockade of the stellate ganglion via injection and the treatment with PRF, relieved our patient's symptoms of PTSD. And we also provide a plausible explanation of the effect.

Publication types

  • Case Reports