Posted by: Adri | 2004/02/23

Paraplegic SEVERE nerve pain

Dear Doc

My husband is 29 now and had an accident a year and 6 months ago, that left him paraplegic from level T4 and down.

Besides this being a terrible thing for us everyday to cope with, he has SEVERE madening nerve pain everyday of his life since the accident, although normal people might think "ye right! you are paraplegic and is not suppose to feel anything" but this we know exists as we did a lot of research and has been to a lot of specialist, including Dr Francois Theron at the Muelmed Hospital, before. They all say the same thing, that his pain that he experiences around his T4 level (as he describes it feels like a steel clamp is clamping him just above the level he can feel all around also accompanied with a constant burning, stabbing, pain sensation and sometimes he says it feels like he is being bend into two!

We have really tried everything you can emagine. He is constantly using 600mg of Neurontin per day, 50 mg Tripelene, 25mg Ethipramine, drinks about 4-6 Lentogesic capsules per day depending on the pain, takes 100mg Luvox and a lot of vitamines and antioxidants. Is there really not ANYTHING else we can do for him except take him for that new operation where they implant a little thing into your spinal fluid that looks like a catheter and then the pouch under your stomach skin where you get injected Morphine every month???

What can we do? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE can you help us with any information? Is there not someone you know of that specialises in spinal cord injury nerve pain or extreme nerve pain caused by injury? PLEASE, sometimes when he really cant take the pain anymore, he says it would be better for him to rather die, then he wont be suffering anymore...

And this is what is currently happening to him. Besides the fact that he lost everything that he held dear about his health, his body, his independence, together with all those subjects we now have to face every second of our lives, he also has this TERRIBLE , CANT COPE ANYMORE-PAIN. He is suffering, really.

Please let me know if you know of anyone, anything that can help him because it breaks my heart to see the person I love most in this world to suffer so much!

Kind regards

Adri Vermeulen

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Adri, an option would be for him to see a neurosurgeon so that they can identify the offending nerve and destroy it. There are excellent neurosurgeons in Pretoria, so if you e-mail me at, I’ll send you some names. Good luck.

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Our users say:
Posted by: JCharles | 2015/02/28

Note Gabapentin is usually given with anti-depressants. Finally, Surgical Intervention may be an option: Nerve Blocks and Surgery Nerve blocks involve a drug, normally an anaesthetic, being injected directly into the specific nerves responsible for causing the pain. This method has fewer side effects than narcotics and the pain relief lasts longer. Doctors often use these treatments before neurosurgery because the risks are lower. The success rates of nerve blocks on central pain can vary, but this treatment may be suitable where limiting peripheral noxious stimuli reduces neuronal activity within the damaged spinal cord that can exacerbate central pain. Dorsal root entry zones (DREZ) DREZ is a neurosurgical procedure for reducing pain in some individuals. The DREZ procedure involves thermally heating parts of the spinal cord or nerve roots thought to be the source of abnormal pain transmissions. There is a greater than 80% success rate for selected cases of paraplegia. The surgical procedure involves a laminectomy for exposure of the spinal cord, direct examination and multiple radio frequency lesions for destruction of the DREZ. It is common for lesions to be performed approximately 2 dermatomal levels above and 1 dermatomal level below the level of injury, which implies the possible loss of several sensory levels.

Reply to JCharles
Posted by: | 2014/02/02

There are trials going on at UCLS Medical Center to get FDA approval for the implant of Boston Scientific Precision Spectra spinal cord stimulator. This device uses electrical impulses to interfere with the pain message sent to the brain. It has been uses to control pain for many years, but just now it's being considered for pain from spinal cord injury. This, in our view, is the best last hope. My wife has a Medtronic Baclofen Pump implanted that hasn't worked for her. Morphine or opiates I understand do not work well for nerve pain. We too have tried several medications with limited effectiveness.

Reply to
Posted by: Tyler Sheehan | 2013/09/11

please visit my FB, my sister is going through the same exact stuff! I think conversing and talking about this could help!!!

Reply to Tyler Sheehan

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