Intercostal Neurolysis for The Treatment of Postsurgical Thoracic Pain: a Case Series

Alberto M. Cappellari, Francesca Tiberio, Gianfranco Alicandro, Diego Spagnoli, Nadia Grimoldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: We investigated the possible role of intercostal surgical neurolysis in relieving chronic neuropathic pain refractory to other nonsurgical treatments in patients with postsurgical thoracic pain. Methods: We retrospectively collected clinical data on patients referred to the Neurosurgery Unit of Policlinic Hospital of Milan. Ten patients (age range, 20–68 years) suffering from neuropathic pain for at least 2 months after thoracic surgery underwent intercostal neurolysis. Results: Compared with preneurolysis, pain intensity decreased 1 month postneurolysis and remained stable 2 months postneurolysis (median score [interquartile range]: 8 [6–9] preneurolysis, 4 [3–5] 1 month after, and 3 [2–5] 2 months after, P < 0.001). Antiepileptic drugs for pain control decreased after neurolysis. Discussion: Surgical intercostal neurolysis may be a promising therapeutic option in patients with chronic neuropathic pain associated with neurological deficits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-675
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • neuropathic pain
  • pain management
  • persistent pain
  • postoperative pain
  • surgery
  • surgical neurolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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