Medial branch neurotomy in low back pain
ABSTRACT This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of pulsed radiofrequency medial branch dorsal ramus neurotomy in patients with facet joint syndrome.
From January 2008 to April 2010, 92 patients with facet joint syndrome diagnosed by strict inclusion criteria and controlled diagnostic blocks undergone medial branch neurotomy. We did not exclude patients with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS). Electrodes (20G) with 5-mm active tip were placed under fluoroscopy guide parallel to medial branch. Patients were followed up by physical examination and by Visual Analog Scale and Oswestry Disability Index at 1, 6, and 12 months.
In all cases, pain improvement was statistically significant and so quality of life. Three non-FBSS patients had to undergo a second neurotomy because of non-satisfactory pain decrease. Complications were reported in no case.
Medial branch radiofrequency neurotomy has confirmed its well-established effectiveness in pain and quality of life improvement as long as strict inclusion criteria be fulfilled and nerve ablation be accomplished by parallel electrode positioning. This statement can be extended also to FBSS patients.
- Neuroradiology 12/2011; 54(7):781-2; author reply 783. DOI:10.1007/s00234-011-0997-1 · 2.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chronic low back pain is a disabling phenomenon that can cause a severe reduction in quality of life, especially in elderly patients. Surgical treatment is sometimes a big challenge for these elderly patients. Radiofrequency (RF) ablation is an increasingly popular method for treating low back pain caused by facet syndrome. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether RF neurotomy is effective in terms of pain reduction and functional outcome in elderly patients. Fifty-eight patients aged 80 years and older who had chronic mechanical low back pain were examined after they underwent RF heat lesion of the medial branch. Follow-up occurred 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after treatment. Pain was measured on the visual analog scale and functional outcome was measured using the Oswestry Disability Index. After 1 month, 43 patients (74%) were satisfied with the results. After 3 months, 38 patients (66%) had clinically significant pain relief. After 6 months, 33 patients (57%) had pain relief, and at the 1-year follow-up, 30 patients (52%) showed good results while 28 patients (48%) showed no effect. The Oswestry Disability Index score was substantially improved even after 1 year. Minor complications occurred in eleven patients (19%), who had transient discomfort and burning pain. RF is a safe and partially effective procedure for treating elderly patients with mechanical back pain due to facet syndrome.Clinical Interventions in Aging 06/2013; 8:737-740. DOI:10.2147/CIA.S44999 · 1.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of disability in the elderly. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of pulse-dose radiofrequency (PDRF) in patients with chronic pain refractory to conservative therapies. Between January 2011 and November 2012, PDRF was performed on 40 patients. A 20-gauge cannula, 10 cm in length, was introduced in the antero-lateral region of the interested knee, and its tip was placed in the joint space under fluoroscopic guidance. After the spindle was removed, an RF needle with a 10-mm "active tip" was introduced. PDRF was performed with 1,200 pulses at high voltage (45 V) with 20-ms duration followed by a 480-ms silent phase. Mean VAS scores before the procedures was 6.8 ± 0.8. A great decrease of pain intensity was achieved 1 week after PDRF (mean VAS scores 1.8 ± 0.4 [p < 0.05]) with stabilization of painful symptomatology in the following months and excellent results 1 year after treatment (mean VAS scores 2.3 ± 0.6 after 12 months [p < 0.05]). Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Index of Osteoarthritis scores showed improved quality of life in all patients at 6 months (p < 0.05) and at 1 year (p < 0.05) after PDRF. No patients developed complications. This study successfully investigated the effectiveness of PDRF in patients with chronic pain unresponsive to conservative therapies. PDRF seems to be an effective and reliable technique for palliative management of chronic pain in patients with knee OA.CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology 08/2013; 37(2). DOI:10.1007/s00270-013-0694-z · 1.97 Impact Factor