Transition from Deep Regional Blocks toward Deep Nerve Hydrodissection in the Upper Body and Torso: Method Description and Results from a Retrospective Chart Review of the Analgesic Effect of 5% Dextrose Water as the Primary Hydrodissection Injectate to Enhance Safety

Abstract

Deep nerve hydrodissection uses fluid injection under pressure to purposely separate nerves from areas of suspected fascial compression, which are increasingly viewed as potential perpetuating factors in recalcitrant neuropathic pain/complex regional pain. The usage of 5% dextrose water (D5W) as a primary injectate for hydrodissection, with or without low dose anesthetic, could limit anesthetic-related toxicity. An analgesic effect of 5% dextrose water (D5W) upon perineural injection in patients with chronic neuropathic pain has recently been described. Here we describe ultrasound-guided methods for hydrodissection of deep nerve structures in the upper torso, including the stellate ganglion, brachial plexus, cervical nerve roots, and paravertebral spaces. We retrospectively reviewed the outcomes of 100 hydrodissection treatments in 26 consecutive cases with a neuropathic pain duration of months and the mean Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) 0–10 pain level of . The mean percentage of analgesia during each treatment session involving D5W injection without anesthetic was 88.1%  ±  9.8%. The pretreatment Numeric Pain Rating Scale score of improved to at 2 months after the last treatment. Patients received treatments over months from the first treatment to the 2-month posttreatment follow-up. Pain improvement exceeded 50% in all cases and 75% in half. Our results confirm the analgesic effect of D5W injection and suggest that hydrodissection using D5W provides cumulative pain reduction.

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