Paracoccygeal corkscrew approach to ganglion impar injections

Pain Practice

2009 Jul-Aug; 9(4): 317-21.

Foye PM, Patel S

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey 07103, USA.

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A new technique for performing nerve blocks of the ganglion impar (ganglion Walther) is presented. These injections have been reported to relieve coccydynia (tailbone pain), as well as other malignant and nonmalignant pelvic pain syndromes. A variety of techniques have been previously described for blocking this sympathetic nerve ganglion, which is located in the retrorectal space just anterior to the upper coccygeal segments. Prior techniques have included approaches through the anococcygeal ligament, through the sacrococcygeal joint, and through intracoccygeal joint spaces. This article presents a new, paracoccygeal approach whereby the needle is inserted alongside the coccyx and the needle is guided through three discrete steps with a rotating or corkscrew trajectory. Compared with some of the previously published techniques, this paracoccygeal corkscrew approach has multiple potential benefits, including ease of fluoroscopic guidance using the lateral view, ability to easily use a stylet for the spinal needle, and use of a shorter, thinner needle. While no single technique works best for all patients and each technique has potential advantages and disadvantages, this new technique adds to the available options.

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