This post-stroke syndrome may have sporadic, severe pain or chronic, persistent pain. Symptoms may not show up immediately after a stroke; it can be days, months or years later before they develop:
This pain can interfere with post-stroke rehabilitation and can be a contributor to post-stroke depression.
Diagnosing central post-stroke pain can be difficult, especially for those unfamiliar with the condition. Some symptoms such as facial pain after stroke could be related to other conditions such as damage to the trigeminal nerve, which may or may not have been caused by a stroke.
Pain management can be challenging; narcotic painkillers may be tried but often have mixed results. Newer medications such as Neurontin and Lyrica are sometimes prescribed for pain relief.
Physical therapy may also help with pain management.
Motor cortex stimulation—This modern therapy may help alleviate pain in patients when medications and other treatments don’t work. Motor cortex stimulation (MCS) involves placing electrodes on the surface of the brain and administering an electrical stimulus to the primary motor cortex.
This procedure is usually performed in two separate operations:
Deep brain stimulation—Although similar to the MCS procedure, with deep brain stimulation (DBS) the neurosurgeon places electrodes into deeper regions of the brain responsible for the generation or perpetuation of pain, instead of on the surface of the brain.
This procedure also usually has two surgery stages:
Both MCS and DBS may significantly improve pain symptoms in some patients. The premier neurospecialists at our Long Island offices can discuss post-stroke syndrome treatment options with you. The expert neurosurgeons at NSPC in the New York area provide state-of-the-art surgical options for brain and spine conditions.
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