Severe pelvic pain secondary to pudendal neuropathy can be treated with repeated local anesthetic nerve blocks or with surgical decompression of the nerve. Computed tomographic (CT) needle guidance to identified reliable anatomic points might be useful for improved success rates.
A CT scan is used to determine baseline anatomy and identify the sacrospinous process. A metallic marker is used to create a perpendicular pathway from the sacrospinous process upward to the skin surface, where a local anesthetic is injected. A 22-gauge, 5-inch needle is inserted downward in a perpendicular direction to the target. Deep penetration and direction are confirmed by serial CT scans. Medication is injected and the needle is removed.
Twenty-six women with diagnoses of pudendal neuropathy were treated with injection therapy once per month, for five total treatments each. About three-quarters experienced improvement. There were no complications in this series. Outcomes were gratifying considering the complex patient population, all having failed multiple therapeutic trials.
We believe this technique warrants further evaluation and application in instances where noninvasive therapy of pudendal neuropathy is indicated.
Computed tomography–guided pudendal nerve blockade provides reasonable outcomes in women with pudendal neuropathy pain who previously failed all other therapy attempts.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California; and the Department of Radiology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
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Received March 29, 1999. Received in revised form July 22, 1999. Accepted August 5, 1999.