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J Hand Surg Am. 1983 Mar;8(2):153-9.

The treatment of upper extremity reflex sympathetic dystrophy with prolonged continuous stellate ganglion blockade.

Abstract

Twenty-nine consecutively treated patients over a 5-year period with upper extremity reflex sympathetic dystrophy were admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital for prolonged continuous stellate ganglion blockade. Diagnosis was based on the presence of pain, decreased joint motion, trophic changes, and vasomotor disturbances. Selection for blockade was made on the failure to improve with outpatient physical therapy, tranquilizers, and mild analgesics. Treatment consisted of indwelling-catheter injections of bupivacaine hydrochloride every eight hours to the stellate ganglion for an average of 7 days, supplemented with vigorous physical therapy. Improvement during treatment was documented in all but two patients with regard to pain and decreased joint motion and in two-thirds with regard to trophic and vasomotor changes. Long-term follow-up demonstrated a relapse rate of 25%, but marked improvement persisted in the rest and normal status was attained in four of 26 patients at an average of 3 years later.

PMID:
6833722
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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