Regional anesthesia techniques in patients with chronic spinal cord injury
Anesthesia-related complications, such as autonomic dysreflexia, remain an issue in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). The use of regional anesthesia is an alternative method for the prevention of autonomic dysreflexia that may occur during surgery in SCI patients. In addition, regional anesthesia has been used against neuropathic pain and spasticity. The aim of this study was to investigate the different applications of regional anesthesia in SCI patients. A review of the current literature was performed using the online PUBMED database and using the keywords “regional anesthesia” and “spinal cord injuries”. Initial search results included 183 studies. Finally, 28 studies were included in this review. The results of this study showed that regional anesthesia may be particularly useful for patients with SCI. It may be used for upper and lower limb surgery, abdominal surgery, and obstetrics and particularly for the prevention of autonomic dysreflexia. Moreover, it may be used in the management of chronic neuropathic pain and spasticity in SCI patients. However, more high-quality studies are needed to clarify the benefits of regional anesthesia in the management and rehabilitation of SCI patients.
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