Spinal Anesthesia was the first regional anesthetic technique to be performed. It was performed by Dr. August Bier, known for the Bier block, and his colleagues on August 16, 1898. Dr. Bier opted for, what he referred to at the time as "cocainization of the spinal cord" by introducing 15 mg of cocaine intrathecally prior to the operation. The surgery was largely uneventful and painless. The patient only experienced some vomiting and a headache postoperatively. Dr. Bier's use of neuraxial anesthesia aimed to directly inject local anesthetics in and around the central nervous system (CNS) for more direct control of pain and anesthesia. Local anesthetics were an important discovery in anesthesiology. However, since the advent of local anesthetics and spinal anesthesia as an alternative technique to general anesthesia, much has been learned about both the benefits and adverse effects of local anesthetics. It was quickly learned that use of local anesthetics would be limited by their potential for life-threatening toxic effects. For this reason, there was a push towards development of novel local anesthetics that had a larger therapeutic window with less likelihood of serious side effects. In addition to developing newer local anesthetics, the idea of adding adjuvants provided an opportunity to potentially limit the life-threatening events. These adjuvants would include medications such as epinephrine and alpha-2 agonists, such as clonidine and dexmedetomidine. Other adjuvants include opioids, glucocorticoids, and mineralocorticoids. ⋯ The use of spinal anesthesia provides a reliable dermatome blockade to facilitate many different surgical procedures. The combination of local anesthetics with opioid medications within the subarachnoid space has been the standard of care. Adjuvant medications like alpha 2 agonists may play a significant role in prolonging spinal blockade as well as limiting cardiovascular complications such as hypotension and bradycardia. The use of alpha 2 agonists instead of opioid medications intrathecally decreases pruritus and delayed respiratory depression. Animal models have demonstrated the synergistic effects of utilizing alpha 2 agonists with opioids in the subarachnoid space. The addition of clonidine to fentanyl and local anesthetic demonstrated a shorter time to neural blockade, but no significant change in duration of the spinal. Interestingly alpha 2 agonists with local anesthetics showed increase block duration compared to opioid with local anesthetics. Further human trials need to be undertaken to analyze the effectiveness of alpha 2 agonists in the intrathecal space, but preliminary data does indicate it is an exemplary alternative to opioids.
Selective nerve root block has been widely used to treat degenerative disc disease (DDD), but no detailed research data is provided to compare the efficacy of epidural injection of anesthetics with or without steroids on the DDD treatment. ⋯ The addition of steroids to anesthetic injectates was associated with a better NRS-11 and ODI compared with LA alone within one year in patients with DDD. Furthermore, the improvement of the ODI was observed within 2 years in patients with lumbar DDD.
Randomized Controlled Trial
Approximately half of the patients with long-standing diabetes are known to have diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). Pain from DPN deteriorates quality of life and hinders activities of daily living. ⋯ High-frequency rTMS on the left M1 may be useful for managing pain in the lower extremities due to DPN and may improve a patient's the quality of life.
As with many others in the house of medicine, the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the practice of interventional pain management. This in part relates to various state health authority or medical board restrictions with reductions in patient volume for evaluations, follow-ups, and procedures. Of course, the pandemic continues to persist which is in turn leading to longer-lasting effects. Our previous survey was performed in March 2020. At that time, there was a national lockdown in the United States with COVID-19 disease qualifying as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The pandemic caused by COVID-19 disease continues to have far-reaching implications on how we deliver routine care to patients and its effect on patient care, economic aspects, and health of interventional pain management providers. ⋯ The COVID-19 pandemic has put interventional pain practices throughout the United States under considerable financial and psychological stress. This study seeks to quantify the extent of economic loss and other challenges resultant from the pandemic. Almost 99% reported a decrease in revenues in the last 12 months, with 86% reporting an expected reduction in the next 12 months and 49% reporting an increase in expenses. Declines have been reported in all sectors with new patients, office procedures, ASC, and HOPD procedures, except for established patient visits, which have shown minor declines compared to other domains. Understanding the issues facing interventional pain management physicians facilitates the development of strategies to actively manage provider practice/well-being, and to minimize risk to personnel to keep patients safe.