Two regional analgesic modalities currently cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hold promise to provide postoperative analgesia free of many of the limitations of both opioids and local anesthetic-based techniques. Cryoneurolysis uses exceptionally low temperature to reversibly ablate a peripheral nerve, resulting in temporary analgesia. Where applicable, it offers a unique option given its extended duration of action measured in weeks to months after a single application. Percutaneous peripheral nerve stimulation involves inserting an insulated lead through a needle to lie adjacent to a peripheral nerve. Analgesia is produced by introducing electrical current with an external pulse generator. It is a unique regional analgesic in that it does not induce sensory, motor, or proprioception deficits and is cleared for up to 60 days of use. However, both modalities have limited validation when applied to acute pain, and randomized, controlled trials are required to define both benefits and risks.
Cryoneurolysis and Percutaneous Peripheral Nerve Stimulation to Treat Acute Pain: A Narrative Review
Submitted for publication April 17, 2020. Accepted for publication July 30, 2020. Published online first on September 8, 2020.
This article is featured in “This Month in Anesthesiology,” page 1A.
This article has been selected for the Anesthesiology CME Program. Learning objectives and disclosure and ordering information can be found in the CME section at the front of this issue.
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Brian M. Ilfeld, John J. Finneran; Cryoneurolysis and Percutaneous Peripheral Nerve Stimulation to Treat Acute Pain: A Narrative Review. Anesthesiology 2020; 133:1127–1149 doi: https://doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000003532
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