Nerve damage can result in years or even lifelong pain. Researchers have recently shown that exposing damaged nerves to a cold needle triggers their regeneration, thereby significantly reducing pain.
The procedure can be performed by an interventional radiologist and is referred to as cryolysis “. It involves freezing a hypodermic needle, inserting it under the patient’s skin, and then guiding it to the damaged nerve using CT scanning technology. Upon contact, the nerve initially deteriorates, losing its function, but then regenerates into a new, healthy one Nerve.
” The Sunderland classification includes five grades of peripheral nerve damage “, To explain David Prologoresearchers atEmory University of Atlanta and lead author of the study, which will be presented at the annual scientific meeting later this month Society for Interventional Radiology. ” They range from partial injury [Sunderland 1] complete and irreversible rupture [Sunderland 5]. »
” After a Sunderland Type 2 injury, the nerve degenerates and then regenerates, which does not occur after a Sunderland Type 1 or Sunderland Types 3 to 5 injury ‘ the researcher continues. ” By exposing the nerve to the right amount of cold, for the right duration, in the right place, and in a targeted manner, the very specific Sunderland type 2 lesion can be induced.. »
For now, prologue and his colleagues tested this innovative treatment on eight patients who suffered from chronic nerve pain for an average of 9.5 years.
No negative side effects were observed in the test subjects, and all were able to regain full use of the affected limb over time. According to the scientists, such results confirm that the damaged nerve has successfully regenerated. The team also reported that six of the participants reported dramatic pain relief.
Although more research is needed, the study authors believe that interventional cryolysis could one day replace painkillers not only when nerves have been damaged by trauma, but also to treat chronic conditions like pudendal neuralgia.