oa South African Medical Journal - Studies on pain : III : some observations on surgical treatment in 65 cases

Volume 25, Issue 40
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



(Concluded from p. 715) Sixty-five instances of attempts at relief of severe pain by various surgical procedures have been reported. The following tentative conclusions seem justifiable: The least satisfactory results attend interruption of peripheral nerves. Posterior rhizotomy is strongly contra-indicated if it denervates a significant part of a limb. Interruption of spino-thalamic pain conducting pathways is a most useful procedure, provided it is carried out at a level sufficiently high above the pain-initiating lesion, and in the absence of certain definite contraindications. The ill-effects of chordotomy have been exaggerated, but the patient must be instructed to empty the bladder at regular intervals. Temporary chemical interruption of sympathetic pathways may significantly break a cycle of pain. Operative sympathetomy must be complete for the affected part. Pain may recur after adequate prefrontal leucotomy. In selecting methods of pain-relief surgery, the expectation of life in a given case is most important. A potent cause of failure is inadequate denervation. The �psychological� make-up of the patient is perhaps an important cause of failure.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error