- 2020;23;E265-E272Effectiveness of Ultrasound-Guided Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatment in Patients with Refractory Chronic Cervical Radicular Pain
Sang Hoon Lee, MD, Hyun Hee Choi, ., Eugene Yousik Roh, MD, and Min Cheol Chang, MD.
BACKGROUND: The effect of pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) stimulation for alleviating cervical radicular pain has been demonstrated in several previous studies.
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of PRF with ultrasound (US) guidance in patients with chronic cervical radicular pain that was refractory to repeated transforaminal epidural steroid injections (TFESIs).
STUDY DESIGN: A prospective outcome study.
SETTING: The outpatient clinic of a single academic medical center.
METHODS: This study included 49 patients with chronic cervical radicular pain, unresponsive to repeated TFESIs, and who underwent PRF stimulation under US guidance. Using US, a cannula was inserted toward the cervical spinal nerve. The pain intensity was evaluated using the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS-11) for cervical radicular pain at pretreatment and 1, 3, and 6 months posttreatment; and the Neck Disability Index (NDI) was used for evaluating functional disability before treatment and 6 months posttreatment. Successful pain relief was defined as >= 50% reduction in the NRS-11 score as compared with the score before treatment.
RESULTS: Cervical radicular pain was significantly reduced at 1, 3, and 6 months post-PRF (P < 0.001). At 6 months post-PRF, functional disability (NDI score) had significantly reduced, and 63.3% of the patients achieved successful pain relief.
LIMITATIONS: The small number of included patients and no long-term follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: PRF stimulation under the guidance of US is a potentially effective treatment method for managing refractory chronic cervical radicular pain.
KEY WORDS: Ultrasound, pulsed radiofrequency, cervical radicular pain, chronic pain