Pulsed radiofrequency for chronic testicular pain-a preliminary report

Pain Med. May-Jun 2009;10(4):673-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2009.00581.x. Epub 2009 Mar 19.


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) of spermatic cord in the treatment of chronic testicular pain.

Design: Ten patients with chronic testicular pain were treated with PRF stimulation of the spermatic cord. A radiofrequency probe placed percutaneously into the spermatic cord was used to deliver four 120-second cycles of 20-millisecond pulses at 2 Hz. Test stimulation was first used to confirm the precise placement of the probe. The short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire was used to assess pain before treatment and at 3 months. Patients who had experienced improvement were followed up by telephone, to determine whether pain relief was sustained.

Results: Ten patients were entered into the study but one was lost to follow-up. Of the nine patients evaluated, four had complete resolution of pain, while one had partial pain relief. Three patients experienced no change and one reported that his pain was worse. All patients who experienced complete and partial pain relief continued to do so at a mean long-term follow-up of 9.6 months (range 3-14 months). There were no complications observed immediately or during the follow-up period.

Conclusion: In this pilot study, pain scores improved in five out of nine patients. PRF of spermatic cord appears to be a safe minimally invasive outpatient procedure that should be investigated further with placebo-controlled trials.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Chronic Disease / therapy
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Pain Threshold / physiology*
  • Pain, Intractable / physiopathology
  • Pain, Intractable / therapy*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Spermatic Cord / innervation
  • Spermatic Cord / physiology
  • Spermatic Cord / surgery
  • Testis / innervation
  • Testis / physiopathology*
  • Treatment Outcome