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Case Reports in Neurological Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 598048, 3 pages
Case Report

MRI Findings of Causalgia of the Lower Extremity Following Transsphenoidal Resection of Pituitary Tumor

1Department of Neurosurgery, New York Medical College, Munger Pavilion, Third Floor, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA
2Department of Otolaryngology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA

Received 8 July 2012; Accepted 22 August 2012

Academic Editors: Ö. Ateş, C.-C. Huang, and M. Swash

Copyright © 2012 D. Ryan Ormond et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Causalgia is continuing pain, allodynia, or hyperalgesia after nerve injury with edema, changes in skin blood flow, or abnormal sudomotor activity. Here we report a case of lower extremity causalgia following elective transsphenoidal resection of a pituitary tumor in a young man. Clinical Presentation. A 33-year-old man with acromegaly underwent elective sublabial transsphenoidal resection of his pituitary tumor. During the three-hour surgery, the lower limbs were kept in a supine, neutral position with a pillow under the knees. The right thigh was slightly internally rotated with a tape to expose fascia lata, which was harvested to repair the sella. Postoperatively, he developed causalgia in a distal sciatic and common peroneal nerve distribution. Pain was refractory to several interventions. Finally, phenoxybenzamine improved his pain significantly. Conclusions. Malpositioning in the operating room resulted in causalgia in this young man. Phenoxybenzamine improved, and ultimately resolved, his symptoms. Improvement in his pain symptoms correlated with resolution of imaging changes in the distal sciatic and peroneal nerves on the side of injury.