Editor-in-Chief: Alaa Abd-Elsayed, MD, PhD
BACKGROUND: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) at the brachial plexus occurs after damage in the neck or upper anterior shoulder, causing pain, decreased sensation, and decreased range of motion in the shoulder and arm, as well as significantly impairing the quality of life.
CASE REPORT: Seven patients with CRPS were implanted with an externally powered peripheral nerve stimulation system at the brachial plexus and followed up at 3, 6 and 12 months. Pain, visual analog scale (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC), The European Quality of Life 5 Dimensions questionnaire (EQ-5D), and medication intake were analyzed. All assessed parameters improved from baseline to the last follow-up: VAS for pain (8.07 to 1.37 at 12 months [n = 4]-), EQ-5D (55.85 to 75.57), median PGIC was 7/7 (current scores, 6 months n = 3, 12 months n = 4); medication intake also improved.
CONCLUSION: Percutaneous placement of an externally powered neurostimulation device at the brachial plexus is a minimally invasive method of pain control.
KEY WORDS: Externally powered, high frequency, peripheral nerve stimulation, brachial plexus neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome