Peripheral neurostimulation for control of intractable occipital neuralgia

Neuromodulation. 1999 Jul;2(3):217-21. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-1403.1999.00217.x.


Objective. To present a novel approach for treatment of intractable occipital neuralgia using percutaneous peripheral nerve electrostimulation techniques. Methods. Thirteen patients underwent 17 implant procedures for medically refractory occipital neuralgia. A subcutaneous electrode placed transversely at the level of C1 across the base of the occipital nerve trunk produced paresthesias and pain relief covering the regions of occipital nerve pain Results. With follow-up ranging from 1-½ to 6 years, 12 patients continue to report good to excellent response with greater than 50% pain control and requiring little or no additional medications. The 13th patient (first in the series) was subsequently explanted following symptom resolution. Conclusions. In patients with medically intractable occipital neuralgia, peripheral nerve electrostimulation subcutaneously at the level of C1 appears to be a reasonable alternative to more invasive surgical procedures following failure of more conservative therapies.