Article

Radiofrequency denervation of lumbar facet joints in the treatment of chronic low back pain: a randomized, double-blind, sham lesion-controlled trial.

Departments of Anaesthesia, Royal Adelaide Hospital & Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, Australia. [corrected]
Clinical Journal of Pain (Impact Factor: 2.7). 21(4):335-44.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Radiofrequency facet joint denervation procedures have been common practice for 2 decades in treatment of chronic low back pain. We designed this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, sham treatment controlled trial to determine the efficacy of radiofrequency facet joint denervation, as it is routinely performed.
Inclusion criteria were low back pain, duration more than 6 months, and >or=50% Visual Analog Scale (VAS) reduction on diagnostic block. Exclusion criteria were prior radiofrequency treatment, radicular syndrome, coagulopathies, specific allergies, cancer, and pregnancy. A total of 81 out of 462 patients were randomized to undergo radiofrequency facet joint denervation or sham treatment. The first evaluation was carried out 3 months after treatment. Primary outcome was determined with a combined outcome measure comprising VAS, physical activities, and analgesic intake, from a twice-weekly recorded diary. Secondary outcome measures were the separate diary parameters, global perceived effect (complete relief, >50% relief, no effect, pain increase), and SF-36 Quality of Life Questionnaire.
There were no dropouts before the first evaluation. The combined outcome measure showed no differences between radio- frequency facet joint denervation (n=40; success 27.5%) and sham (n=41; success 29.3%) (P=0.86). The VAS in both groups improved (P<0.001). Global perceived effect improved after radiofrequency facet joint denervation (P<0.05). The other secondary outcome parameters showed no significant differences. Relevant costs were evaluated.
The combined outcome measure and VAS showed no difference between radiofrequency and sham, though in both groups, significant VAS improvement occurred. The global perceived effect was in favor of radiofrequency. In selected patients, radiofrequency facet joint denervation appears to be more effective than sham treatment.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
119 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective : The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical results of endoscopic radiofrequency ablation of medial branch in patients with chronic low back pain originating from facet joints. Methods : Between October 201 0 and December 2013, 52 consecutive patients had suffering from chronic low back pain had undergone endoscopic radiofrequency denervation of medial branch of dorsal ramus. The clinical outcomes of these 52 patients were reviewed retrospectively. Preoperative and postoperative Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Korean version of Oswestry Disability Index (K-OD 1), and patients' satisfaction with the procedure were assessed. Results : The pain scores on the VAS for back pain had improved significantly from a preoperative mean of 7.1 to a postoperative mean of 2 at the last follow-up (p<0.001). The clinical outcomes based on the K-ODI had also improved significantly from a preoperative mean of 26.5% to postoperative mean of 7.7% at the last follow-up (p<0.001). 80% of patients were satisfied with the procedure. There were no complications associated with the procedure. Conclusion : Our preliminary results demonstrate that endoscopic radiofrequency denervation of medial branch could be an effective alternative treatment modality for chronic back pain originating from facet joints that provides long-term pain relief.
    Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society 10/2014; 56(4):338-43. DOI:10.3340/jkns.2014.56.4.338 · 0.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:To verify the incidence of facetary and low back pain after a controlled medial branch anesthetic block in a three-month follow-up and to verify the correlation between the positive results and the demographic variables.METHODS:Patients with chronic lumbar pain underwent a sham blockade (with a saline injection) and then a controlled medial branch block. Their symptoms were evaluated before and after the sham injection and after the real controlled medial branch block; the symptoms were reevaluated after one day and one week, as well as after one, two and three months using the visual analog scale. We searched for an association between the positive results and the demographic characteristics of the patients.RESULTS:A total of 104 controlled medial branch blocks were performed and 54 patients (52%) demonstrated >50% improvements in pain after the blockade. After three months, lumbar pain returned in only 18 individuals, with visual analogue scale scores >4. Therefore, these patients were diagnosed with chronic facet low back pain. The three-months of follow-up after the controlled medial branch block excluded 36 patients (67%) with false positive results. The results of the controlled medial branch block were not correlated to sex, age, pain duration or work disability but were correlated with patient age (p<0.05).CONCLUSION:Patient diagnosis with a controlled medial branch block proved to be effective but was not associated with any demographic variables. A three-month follow-up is required to avoid a high number of false positives.
    Clinics (São Paulo, Brazil) 08/2014; 69(8):529-34. DOI:10.6061/clinics/2014(08)05 · 1.59 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To analyse the impact of placebo effects on outcome in trials of selected minimally invasive procedures and to assess reported adverse events in both trial arms. A systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched MEDLINE and Cochrane library to identify systematic reviews of musculoskeletal, neurological and cardiac conditions published between January 2009 and January 2014 comparing selected minimally invasive with placebo (sham) procedures. We searched MEDLINE for additional randomised controlled trials published between January 2000 and January 2014. Effect sizes (ES) in the active and placebo arms in the trials' primary and pooled secondary end points were calculated. Linear regression was used to analyse the association between end points in the active and sham groups. Reported adverse events in both trial arms were registered. We included 21 trials involving 2519 adult participants. For primary end points, there was a large clinical effect (ES≥0.8) after active treatment in 12 trials and after sham procedures in 11 trials. For secondary end points, 7 and 5 trials showed a large clinical effect. Three trials showed a moderate difference in ES between active treatment and sham on primary end points (ES ≥0.5) but no trials reported a large difference. No trials showed large or moderate differences in ES on pooled secondary end points. Regression analysis of end points in active treatment and sham arms estimated an R(2) of 0.78 for primary and 0.84 for secondary end points. Adverse events after sham were in most cases minor and of short duration. The generally small differences in ES between active treatment and sham suggest that non-specific mechanisms, including placebo, are major predictors of the observed effects. Adverse events related to sham procedures were mainly minor and short-lived. Ethical arguments frequently raised against sham-controlled trials were generally not substantiated. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
    BMJ Open 01/2015; 2015;5(e007331):1 - 15. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007331 · 2.06 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
277 Downloads
Available from
May 29, 2014