Purpose: Morton's neuroma (MN) is a leading cause of disability. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of radiofrequency (RF) in patients with chronic pain refractory to conservative therapies.
Methods: Between September 2012 and December 2016, RF was performed on 52 patients. A sterile RF needle probe (22G, 5-cm needle with 10-mm electrode active tip) was inserted between the toes into the intermetatarsal space at the center of the lesion. Potential complications of the intervention and post-procedure care were examined. All patients provided written, informed consent. All percutaneous procedures were performed with the NeuroTherm® NT1100 (Neurotherm Inc., M.) device and using ultrasound guidance (Philips IU22). Continuous RF was performed with one cycle of 90 s and with the probe tip maintaining a temperature of 85 °C (impedance 95-210 mΩ).
Results: Mean VAS score before the procedures was 9.0 ± 0.6. A reduction of pain intensity was achieved after 1 week by RF (mean VAS scores 3.7 ± 0.9; p < 0.05), with a stabilization of the painful symptomatology in the following months and after 1 year of treatments (mean VAS scores 2.0 ± 0.4 after 12 months, p < 0.05). The FHSQ scores showed improved quality of life (QOL) in all patients at 6 months (p < 0.05) and 1 year (p < 0.05) of RF. No patients developed complications.
Conclusions: RF is a safe, efficient, and minimally invasive technique for the treatment of symptomatic MN.
Keywords: Chronic pain; Foot pain; Morton’s neuroma; Radiofrequency.