What is and when is a neurolytic block used in pain medicine?
Neurolysis can be achieved through injection of chemicals (Phenol, Glycerol, or Alcohol), the use of cryotherapy (cold), or the use of radiofrequency lesioning (heat). All of these therapies are typically used as an end of the road type of treatment. Cryotherapy can be used for some peripheral neuropathies of nerves that are a sensory nerve only. Radiofrequency lesioning is most commonly used to denervate facet joints. These two types of neurolysis are much more selective than the use of chemical solutions. However, the spread of the liquid chemical agents is beneficial for the interruption of large nerve ganglia for some intractable pain states and/ or terminal illnesses.