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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 128

Nucleus caudalis lesioning: Case report of chronic traumatic headache relief

1 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA
2 Lake Cumberland Neurosurgical Clinic, Somerset, KY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Stephen E Sandwell
Department of Neurosurgery, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
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DOI: 10.4103/2152-7806.85467

PMID: 22059123

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Background : The nucleus caudalis dorsal root entry zone (DREZ) surgery is used to treat intractable central craniofacial pain. This is the first journal publication of DREZ lesioning used for the long-term relief of an intractable chronic traumatic headache. Case Description : A 40-year-old female experienced new-onset bi-temporal headaches following a traumatic head injury. Despite medical treatment, her pain was severe on over 20 days per month, 3 years after the injury. The patient underwent trigeminal nucleus caudalis DREZ lesioning. Bilateral single-row lesions were made at 1-mm interval between the level of the obex and the C2 dorsal nerve roots, using angled radiofrequency electrodes, brought to 80°C for 15 seconds each, along a path 1 to 1.2 mm posterior to the accessory nerve rootlets. The headache improved, but gradually returned. Five years later, her headaches were severe on over 24 days per month. The DREZ surgery was then repeated. Her headaches improved and the relief has continued for 5 additional years. She has remained functional, with no limitation in instrumental activities of daily living. Conclusions : The nucleus caudalis DREZ surgery brought long-term relief to a patient suffering from chronic traumatic headache.



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