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Anesthesiology/Resistance to Lidocaine


Have you given any thought to people who have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS)?  I have hypermobility in my joints, bruise easily and for no reason and have what appears to be excess skin on my hands and arms, stretch marks on my calves and thighs and am not over-weight.

I had a spinal tap that I felt the needle going into my spine, two steroid shots, one in my cervical spine and one in my shoulder that I also felt and were very painful.  The spinal tap was so painful that my body jerked forward and I immediately vomited and they had to pull out the needle.

I had periodontal work done that was unbearable and the dentist thought I was a baby.  The numbing agent did nothing for me.  I believe there are many people who might be inflicted with EDS and have not been diagnosed.  

It has been determined that people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) are resistant to Lidocaine.

Do you think that some doctors have not considered this when they state that they know of no one who is resistant to Lidocaine?

That is probably correct but by the same token, not all people with Ehler's Danlos (ED) are resistant to local anesthetics. Patients with ED Type III show a higher resistance to local anesthetics but they do respond. Several studies showed that for intradermal injection, patients with ED III wear off quicker and that topical agents are ineffective. Generally speaking, ED is fairly easy to diagnose and for doctor's who deal with these patients, they would know about this. Other's (like dentists) probably would not. There is another syndrome that sounds more like what you have which is Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS). Here is a link to an article about that.

Hope this helps.

Ronald Levy, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology


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Ronald Levy, M.D.


Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. I am a board certified anesthesiologist who can answer all questions related to any type of Anesthesia with the exception of Pain Management.

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