Using Botox for pain relief
(NBC) — A Wyoming high school senior is the first person in the world to receive a unique treatment. It involves Botox and helped reduce her pain from Compartment Syndrome. Laura Stamp was diagnosed with Compartment Syndrome last fall after experiencing constant pain in her legs.
"What we ended up finding is that her veins were being compressed by her muscles up in her thigh," explains Dr. Joseph McGinley. That was blocking blood flow from leaving her calf muscles and causing them to expand like a balloon.
The solution was Botox. Most people know Botox for cosmetic reasons, using it to block muscles in the face and stopping muscle contractions. Dr. McGinley used the same medical methodology to alleviate the pain in Laura's calves. "We ended up putting Botox in the muscle that was compressing the vein," he says. "It saves very young people and young athletes from a quite invasive surgery."
A surgery that Dr. McGinley says only works half the time. Within two weeks after her first treatment Laura was back on the soccer field and already training for the upcoming cross country season. "It felt great," she says.
In most cases, Botox lasts five to six months, but because Laura is the only person in the world to receive this particular treatment doctors don't know if it will be shorter or longer. There is also a possibility that with the injection the muscle may weaken and may not compress the vein as much as it typically would, alleviating pain.