Complications of Regional Anesthesia in Chronic Pain Therapy

  • Philip W. H. Peng
  • Vincent W. S. Chan


Interest in interventional pain management is on the rise, as indicated by an increased enrollment into the anesthesiology pain fellowship programs in North America.1 The prevalence of treatment-related complications has also increased, as suggested in a recent Closed Claims study.2 In this chapter, we discuss sympathetic, visceral, and somatic blocks frequently used in the management of chronic pain. To understand how complications arise, it is necessary to review the anatomy and techniques of the blocks, which can be used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. It is also important to understand some of the unique drugs used in this setting (e.g., neurolytic agents and corticosteroids). In general, procedure-related damage can result from needle insertion, misplacement or unanticipated spread of the drug, drug toxicity, injection of the wrong substance, or from an idiosyncratic reaction. Postblock physiologic changes may also add to complications.


Cancer Pain Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Spinal Cord Stimulation Epidural Morphine Epidural Injection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip W. H. Peng
    • 1
  • Vincent W. S. Chan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiaUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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