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  • By Author: Burchiel, Kim J. x
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Andrew C. Zacest, Stephen T. Magill, Jonathan Miller and Kim J. Burchiel

Object

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a neuropathic pain syndrome that is often associated with neurovascular compression of the trigeminal nerve and may be effectively treated with microvascular decompression (MVD). The authors used high-resolution MR imaging with 3D reconstruction in patients with constant facial pain (Type 2 TN) to determine the presence/absence of neurovascular compression and thus a potential MVD benefit. They retrospectively contacted patients to evaluate outcome.

Methods

All patients who reported spontaneous onset of constant facial pain (Type 2 TN), which occurred at least 50% of the time, who had undergone high-resolution 3-T MR imaging with 3D reconstruction were retrospectively selected for this study. Clinical history, facial pain questionnaire data, physical examination findings, and results from 3-T 3D MR imaging reconstruction were recorded for all patients. Intraoperative findings and clinical pain outcome were recorded for all patients who underwent MVD.

Results

Data obtained in 27 patients were assessed. On the basis of history and 3D MR imaging reconstruction findings, 13 patients were selected for MVD (Group A) and 14 underwent conservative treatment (Group B). Typical or suspected artery- or vein-induced neurovascular compression was predicted preoperatively in 100% of Group A patients and in 0% of Group B patients. At the time of MVD, definitive neurovascular compression was confirmed in 11 (84.6%) of 13 Group A patients. Following MVD, facial pain was completely relieved in 3 (23%), improved in 7 (53.8%), and no better in 3 (23%) of 13 Group A patients. A history of episodic (Type 1 TN) pain at any time was reported in 100 and 50% of Group A and Group B patients, respectively. A Type 1 TN pain component was reportedly improved/relieved in all Group A patients, but the Type 2 TN pain component was improved in only 7 (53.8%) of 13 patients. The mean postoperative follow-up duration was 13 months.

Conclusions

High-resolution 3D MR imaging reconstruction in patients with constant facial pain (Type 2 TN) can help determine the presence/absence of neurovascular compression. Surgical selection based on both clinical and radiological criteria has the potential to improve surgical outcome in patients with Type 2 TN who may potentially benefit from MVD. However, even in such selected patients, pain relief is likely to be incomplete.

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Andrew C. Zacest, Stephen T. Magill, Valerie C. Anderson and Kim J. Burchiel

Object

Ilioinguinal neuralgia is one cause of chronic groin pain following inguinal hernia repair, and it affects ~ 10% of patients. Selective ilioinguinal neurectomy is one proposed treatment option for carefully selected patients. The goal of this study was to determine the long-term outcome of patients who underwent selective ilioinguinal neurectomy for chronic post-hernia pain.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical assessment, surgical treatment, and long-term outcome in 26 patients with ilioinguinal neuralgia who underwent selective ilioinguinal neurectomy performed by the senior author (K.J.B.) at Oregon Health & Science University between 1998 and 2008. Data were collected from patient charts and a follow-up telephone questionnaire.

Results

Twenty-six patients (14 men and 12 women) had a clinical diagnosis of ilioinguinal neuralgia based on a history of radiating neuropathic groin, medial thigh, and genitalia pain. One patient had bilateral disease (therefore there were 27 surgical cases). A selective nerve block was performed in 21 (81%) of 26 patients and was positive in 20 (77%) of the 26. In all but 2 patients, pain onset followed abdominal surgery (for hernia repair in 18 patients), and was immediate in 16 (67%) of 24 patients. The mean patient age was 48.7 years, and the mean duration of pain prior to neurosurgical consultation was 3.9 years. Surgery was performed after induction of local or general anesthesia in 17 and 10 cases, respectively. The ilioinguinal nerve was identified in 25 cases, and the genitofemoral nerve in 2, either entrapped in mesh, scar, or with obvious neuroma (22 of 27 cases). The identified nerve was doubly ligated, cut, and buried in muscle at its most proximal point. At the 2-week follow-up evaluations, 14 (74%) of 19 patients noted definite pain improvement.

Nineteen (73%) of the 26 patients were contacted by telephone and agreed to participate in completing long-term follow-up questionnaires. The mean follow-up duration was 34.78 months. Return of pain was reported by 13 (68%) of 19 patients. Using a verbal numerical rating scale (0–10), pain was completely relieved in 27.8%, better in 38.9%, no better in 16.7%, and worse in 16.7% of patients.

Conclusions

Ilioinguinal neurectomy is an effective and appropriate treatment for selected patients with iatrogenic ilioinguinal neuralgia following abdominal surgery. Although a high proportion of patients reported some long-term recurrence of pain, complete or partial pain relief was achieved in 66.7% of the patients observed.