Effect of bullet removal on subsequent pain in persons with spinal cord injury secondary to gunshot wound

Academic Article

Abstract

  • The prevention or minimization of future pain is often cited as a reason for removal of the bullet from patients who have incurred a spinal cord injury secondary to a gunshot wound. In an attempt to examine this assumption, multimodal pain ratings were recorded for 14 patients with spinal cord injury due to a gunshot wound in whom the bullet was still present, 14 neurologically matched patients with spinal cord injury due to a gunshot wound in whom the bullet was removed, and 28 control patients with spinal cord injury unrelated to a gunshot wound who were neurologically matched to the first two groups. The results suggest that persons who sustain a spinal cord injury secondary to gunshot wounds report more pain than those injured in other ways. In addition, there was no indication that surgical removal of the bullet was helpful in reducing subsequent pain either early in the rehabilitation process or at 1 year postinjury. The location of the bullet and the type of pain that subsequently developed were not correlated with the initial decision to surgically remove the bullet. Implications for further study and clinical practice are discussed.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Richards JS; Stover SL; Jaworski T
  • Start Page

  • 401
  • End Page

  • 404
  • Volume

  • 73
  • Issue

  • 3