Local anaesthetic failure in joint hypermobility syndrome


So imagine having to go to the dentist having a filling and the anaesthetic doesn’t work. The next time you go back you are scared that the same thing will happen again see you put it off. Eventually you have to go back but because you put it off you now need your tooth out. The dentist numbs your mouth but at that crucial moment when the tooth is almost out you can feel everything it is not numb.

That has happened to me, more than once I’ve also had eye surgery and stitches in my knee all with local Anesthetic that did not work.

You get labelled as a hysteric, people don’t believe you and assume your pain is actually just a panic response. This makes the situation worse you walk into the doctor or dentist terrified that the local anaesthetic is not going to work again then you are a nervous patient and it must all be in your head.

This lead me to develop ‘hospital phobia’ at its worst I struggled to set foot in a hospital without getting the shakes. Eventually following eye surgery wherr the local anaesthetic and sedation were both ineffective in addition to me being terrified I developed full blown post-traumatic stress disorder.

My dental troubles where no better – I simply stopped going and avoided it at all costs. At its worst I walked round with an abcess in my tooth for 2 weeks in agony rather than seeking a dentist. As a result of this I have had far more teeth removed than average soon to be 5.

I now carry an alert card with information on it and wear a medical ID – if a medical professional doesn’t believe me I whip out the card and play the broken record until they do.

I really wish I had known about this sooner and that medical professionals had the training and time to recognise that I was not hysterical. With proper patient doctor communication I have found it is possible to achieve good local anaesthetic and thanks to doctors willing to work with me I’ve found having 4x the regular amount and them working quickly it is possible to have relatively pain free minor surgery.

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

Local anaesthetic failure in joint hypermobility syndrome | J R Soc Med. 2005 Feb

When taking biopsies to assess skin strength in Ehlers–Danlos syndrome type III (EDS–III), a Danish group noticed that the patients experienced much pain despite conventional local anaesthesia.1

When asked, all these patients reported previous experience of partial or complete failure of local anaesthesia in dental or obstetric procedures—for which reason some had been dismissed as hysterics.

Pursuing this finding, Arendt-Nielsen et al.2 compared the effects of local anaesthesia in 8 patients with EDS–III and 8 controls.  

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