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Anesth Pain Med. 2015 Oct 10;5(5):e18777. doi: 10.5812/aapm.18777. eCollection 2015 Oct.

Successful Treatment of Chronic Donor Site Pain.

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The New Jersey Pain Management Institute, Somerset, New Jersey, USA.
Rehabilitation Unit, Gait Analysis Lab, Rummo Hospital, Benevento, Italy.
The New Medical Home for Pain Management and Medical Mentoring, New York, USA.



This is a case presentation of a 45-year-old male with chronic donor site pain following autologous iliac crest bone harvest successfully treated with superior cluneal nerve blockade. Donor site pain following autologous bone harvest is a common postoperative complication of lumbar fusion procedures that can cause significant morbidity and diminish quality of life, even in the context of an otherwise successful surgery. Dysfunction of the superior cluneal nerves is an etiology of this chronic pain. The patient's medical history, attempted treatments, and literature were reviewed.


A 45-year-old male with a six year history of severe pain over the right iliac crest following an otherwise successful lumbar laminectomy and fusion underwent two sets of superior cluneal nerve blocks, with sustained relief of more than 80% at seven months follow up.


Donor site pain following autologous iliac crest bone harvest is a common surgical complication that is often resistant to conservative treatments such as physical therapy and oral medications. Blockade of the superior cluneal nerves is a safe and technically simple procedure that may result in long-term pain relief, obviating the need to consider more invasive options.


Bone; Donor; Nerve Block; Pain

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