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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb




Serial Thoracic Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections for Post-herpetic Neuralgia: A Case Report.


Dinh BN, Le HK, Dinh J, Mouhanna J, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA
Cureus. 2022 Feb; 14(2):e21808.
PMID: 35251871.


The chronic neuropathic pain of post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) often persists for months or years after the acute herpes zoster (shingles) episode, may be severe and intractable, and can severely impact the overall quality of life. Antivirals, analgesics, and nerve blocks can effectively shorten the course of shingles and may help to prevent PHN. Although vaccination effectively prevents shingles and PHN, current therapies may be ineffective, and pain management can be challenging when PHN occurs. A 78-year-old female with severe PHN pain in the right thoracolumbar spine, right flank, and right lower abdomen showed poor responses to treatment with amitriptyline, gabapentin, and oxycodone/acetaminophen. However, a series of three thoracic transforaminal epidural steroid injections (TFESIs) effectively treated the PHN and achieved near-complete pain resolution. TFESI can be considered an early and first-choice treatment for PHN, but several courses may be required to achieve adequate and prolonged symptom control.