Current Issue - November/December 2013 - Vol 16 Issue 6


  1. 2013;16;E789-E791Permanent Implantation of Peripheral Nerve Stimulator for Combat Injury-related Ilioinguinal Neuralgia
    Case Report
    Diem Phuc T Banh, DO, Pablo M Moujan, MD, Quazi Haque, MD, and Tae-Hyung Han, MD.

A peripheral nerve stimulator (PNS) can be an alternative for long-term pain relief refractory to conventional therapeutic modalities. We present a case of chronic incapacitating ilioinguinal neuralgia, which was successfully managed with permanent implantation of a peripheral nerve stimulator. A 26-year-old active duty African American man was referred to the University Pain Clinic with left ilioinguinal neuralgia due to shrapnel injury during his military service 6 years prior to his visit. Most of the shrapnel were surgically removed, but the patient subsequently developed left lower abdominal pain. Multiple surgeries, including inguinal herniorrhaphy, varicocelectomy, and orchiectomy, failed to provide satisfactory relief of his neuralgia. Other therapies tried resulting in limited outcomes were multiple ilioinguinal nerve blocks and cryoanalgesia. A trial of PNS was successful and the implantation of permanent leads was carried out. At his 3-month visit, the patient reported to have minimal pain, was tapered off oral analgesics, was able to return to work, and had resumed his normal daily activities. Recent technological advances in programming software and surgical techniques have led to renewed interest in PNS for the treatment of chronic refractory peripheral nerve injury. Despite our limited understanding of its exact mechanism of action, it can be considered as a therapeutic potential for a few carefully selected, intractable cases. Its minimally invasive and reversible features make PNS a favorable option for these patients. The stringent and rigorous screening procedures for suitable candidacy, documentation of previously failed treatments, psychiatric evaluation, and 3–5 days of preplacement trial, improve the success rate.