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Pain Management

Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists or re-occurs for more than six months; at this point, it is no longer a symptom but rather a disease state. Wayne State University Physician Group Neurosurgery offers state-of the art interventional therapies for the management of chronic pain, including:

  • Intrathecal drug delivery systems in which an implanted device regulates and directs the medication to a location on the spinal cord responsible for the pain. This direct drug delivery allows pain treatment with 100 times less pain medication than would be needed orally.
  • Neurostimulation involves the implantation of an array of electrodes over the spinal cord. The electrodes stimulate the spinal cord blocking the pain signal and replacing it with what is described as a more pleasant feeling.
  • Motor cortex stimulation is an excellent treatment option for burning facial pain caused by nerve injury and for other nerve or brain injury pain syndromes. It involves implantation of an array of electrodes over the motor cortex region of the brain. Stimulating this area with electrical impulses inhibits the pain.

Functional pain procedures are offered for patients suffering from cranial nerve compression syndromes, including trigeminal neuralgia, glossophyrangeal neuralgia, nervus intermedius syndrome. We also treat dysequilibrium and torticollis in selected patients.

Typically these interventional options are considered after other traditional therapies have failed; oral medication, pain blocks, surgery, physical therapy and psychological testing. The neurosurgeons in the department work closely with other disciplines to determine the best therapy option available for each patient.