Pulsed radiofrequency in lumbar radicular pain: clinical effects in various etiological groups

Pain Pract. 2007 Mar;7(1):21-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-2500.2007.00105.x.


Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) applied to the lumbar dorsal root ganglion (DRG).

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 54 consecutive patients who underwent 75 PRF procedures was performed. The patients were divided into three groups according to the etiology of the lesion (herniated disc [HD], spinal stenosis [SS], and failed back surgery syndrome [FBSS]). The analgesic efficacy of the technique was assessed using a 10-point Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) at baseline and, along with the Global Perceived Effect (GPE), at 30, 60, 90, and 180 days. The reduction in medications and the number of complications associated with the technique were assessed.

Results: A decrease in the NRS score was observed in patients with HD (P < 0.05) and SS (P < 0.001), but not in those with FBSS. The GPE scores confirmed this finding. No complications were noted.

Conclusions: We observed that PRF of the DRG was significantly more efficacious in HD and SS than in FBSS patients. The application of PRF was not effective in FBSS.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae*
  • Pain / classification*
  • Pain / radiotherapy*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / etiology*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / physiopathology*
  • Radiofrequency Therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome