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Objective: The efficacy of 5% lidocaine medicated plaster (LMP) has previously been demonstrated in post-traumatic localized neuropathic pain. This study evaluated the use of LMP in localized neuropathic pain secondary to traumatic peripheral nerve injury.
Patients and methods: This prospective observational study enrolled patients with traumatic injuries to peripheral nerves that were accompanied by localized neuropathic pain of more than 3 months duration. Demographic variables, pain intensity (measured using the numeric rating scale; NRS), answers to the Douleur Neuropathique 4 (DN4) questionnaire, and the size of the painful area were recorded.
Results: Nineteen patients were included, aged (mean ± standard deviation) 41.4 ± 15.7 years. Nerve injuries affected the upper (eight patients) or lower (11 patients) limbs. The mean duration of pain before starting treatment with LMP was 22.6 ± 43.5 months (median 8 months).
Mean baseline values included: NRS 6.7 ± 1.6, painful area 17.8 ± 10.4 cm2 (median 18 cm2), and DN4 score 6.7 ± 1.4. The mean duration of treatment with LMP was 19.5 ± 10.0 weeks (median 17.4 weeks). Mean values after treatment were: NRS 2.8 ± 1.5 ($3 point reduction in 79% of patients, $50% reduction in 57.9% of patients) and painful area 2.1 ± 2.3 cm2 (median 1 cm2 , $50% reduction in 94.7% of patients). Functional improvement after treatment was observed in 14/19 patients (73.7%).
Conclusion: LMP effectively treated traumatic injuries of peripheral nerves which presented with chronic localized neuropathic pain, reducing both pain intensity and the size of the painful area.
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