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      A case report of complex auricular neuralgia treated with the great auricular nerve and facet blocks

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          Abstract

          Background

          The great auricular nerve is a cutaneous branch of the cervical plexus originating from the C2 and C3 spinal nerves. It innervates the skin over the external ear, the angle of the mandible and the parotid gland. It communicates with the ansa cervicalis. Great auricular neuralgia is rarely diagnosed in clinical practice and can be refractory. We present a new approach using ultrasound-guided nerve blocks.

          Case

          We present a case of a 41-year-old female with paroxysmal ear pain accompanied by dysautonomia, tingling in the tongue, dysphagia, dysarthria and abdominal symptoms. No significant findings were found on cervical and brain imaging. The patient responded partially to a great auricular nerve block. A combined approach using this block with facet block of C2 and C3 induced a more pronounced and prolonged benefit.

          Conclusion

          Great auricular neuralgia is not often encountered in practice and can be accompanied by symptoms originating from the ansa cervicalis network. A combined approach of nerve blocks can be considered in refractory cases.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Complications of fluoroscopically directed facet joint nerve blocks: a prospective evaluation of 7,500 episodes with 43,000 nerve blocks.

          Chronic spinal pain is common along with numerous modalities of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions utilized, creating a health care crisis. Facet joint injections and epidural injections are the 2 most commonly utilized interventions in managing chronic spinal pain. While the literature addressing the effectiveness of facet joint nerve blocks is variable and emerging, there is paucity of literature on adverse effects of facet joint nerve blocks. A prospective, non-randomized study of patients undergoing interventional techniques from May 2008 to December 2009. A private interventional pain management practice, a specialty referral center in the United States. Investigation of the incidence in characteristics of adverse effects and complications of facet joint nerve blocks. The study was carried out over a period of 20 months including almost 7,500 episodes of 43,000 facet joint nerve blocks with 3,370 episodes in the cervical region, 3,162 in the lumbar region, and 950 in the thoracic region. All facet joint nerve blocks were performed under fluoroscopic guidance in an ambulatory surgery center by 3 physicians. The complications encountered during the procedure and postoperatively were evaluated prospectively. This study was carried out over a period of 20 months and included over 7,500 episodes or 43,000 facet joint nerve blocks. All of the interventions were performed under fluoroscopic guidance in an ambulatory surgery center by one of 3 physicians. The complications encountered during the procedure and postoperatively were prospectively evaluated. Measurable outcomes employed were intravascular entry of the needle, profuse bleeding, local hematoma, dural puncture and headache, nerve root or spinal cord irritation with resultant injury, and infectious complications. There were no major complications. Multiple side effects and complications observed included overall intravascular penetration in 11.4% of episodes with 20% in cervical region, 4% in lumbar region, and 6% in thoracic region; local bleeding in 76.3% of episodes with highest in thoracic region and lowest in cervical region; oozing with 19.6% encounters with highest in cervical region and lowest in lumbar region; with local hematoma seen only in 1.2% of the patients with profuse bleeding, bruising, soreness, nerve root irritation, and all other effects such as vasovagal reactions observed in 1% or less of the episodes. Limitations of this study include lack of contrast injection, use of intermittent fluoroscopy and also an observational nature of the study. This study illustrate that major complications are extremely rare and minor side effects are common.
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            Image-guided facet joint injection

             WCG Peh (2011)
            Chronic spine pain poses a peculiar diagnostic and therapeutic challenge due to multiple pain sources, overlapping clinical features and nonspecific radiological findings. Facet joint injection is an interventional pain management tool for facet-related spinal pain that can be effectively administered by a radiologist. This technique is the gold standard for identifying facet joints as the source of spinal pain. The major indications for facet injections include strong clinical suspicion of the facet syndrome, focal tenderness over the facet joints, low back pain with normal radiological findings, post-laminectomy syndrome with no evidence of arachnoiditis or recurrent disc disease, and persistent low back pain after spinal fusion. The contraindications are more ancillary, with none being absolute. Like any synovial joint degeneration, inflammation and injury can lead to pain on motion, initiating a vicious cycle of physical deconditioning, irritation of facet innervations and muscle spasm. Image-guided injection of local anesthetic and steroid into or around the facet joint aims to break this vicious cycle and thereby provide pain relief. This outpatient procedure has high diagnostic accuracy, safety and reproducibility but the therapeutic outcome is variable.
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              The innervation of the scalp: A comprehensive review including anatomy, pathology, and neurosurgical correlates

              Background: Neurosurgical intervention involving the scalp may cause neuralgia or other pain syndromes. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of scalp innervation may be helpful in prevention of pain potentially induced by surgery. Methods: Using standard search engines, a review of the literature regarding the anatomy of the nerves that innervate the scalp was performed with attention given to anatomic landmarks. Results: This paper provides a comprehensive review of the anatomy, embryology, pathology, and neurosurgical application of the knowledge of the innervation of the scalp. Conclusions: Knowledge of the nerves that supply the scalp is important to the neurosurgeon who hopes to maximize patient recovery and minimize post-procedural complications.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2017
                17 February 2017
                : 10
                : 435-438
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Pain Clinic, Headache Management, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), Centre de Recherche de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM)
                [2 ]Department of General Neurology, Headache Management, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), Centre de Recherche de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM)
                [3 ]Department of Anesthesiology, Pain Clinic, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), Centre de Recherche de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), Montreal, QC, Canada
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Marzieh Eghtesadi, Department of Pain Clinic, Headache Management, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), 3840 rue Saint Urbain, Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu du CHUM, Clinique antidouleur 2 étage, Pavillon Jean Mance, Montreal, QC H2W 1T8, Canada, Tel +1 514 890 8000, Fax +1 514 412 7132, Email marzieh.eghtesadi@ 123456mail.mcgill.ca
                Article
                jpr-10-435
                10.2147/JPR.S126923
                5322840
                © 2017 Eghtesadi et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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