Posterior neck pain following thyroidectomy is common because full neck extension is required during the procedure. We evaluated the effect of intra-operative transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on postoperative neck pain in patients undergoing total thyroidectomy under general anaesthesia. One hundred patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups; 50 patients received transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation applied to the trapezius muscle and 50 patients acted as controls. Postoperative posterior neck pain and anterior wound pain were evaluated using an 11-point numerical rating scale at 30 min, 6 h, 24 h and 48 h following surgery. The numerical rating scale for posterior neck pain was significantly lower in the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation group compared with the control group at all time points (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in the numerical rating scale for anterior wound pain at any time point. No adverse effects related to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation were observed. We conclude that intra-operative transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation applied to the trapezius muscle reduced posterior neck pain following thyroidectomy.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2014 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine