Radiofrequency Thermocoagulation of the Ganglion Impar for Coccydynia Management: Long-Term Effects

Pain Pract. 2019 Jan;19(1):9-15. doi: 10.1111/papr.12698. Epub 2018 May 16.


Objective: To investigate the short- and long-term effects of ganglion impar radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFT) treatment in patients with chronic coccydynia.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of patients who underwent RFT of the ganglion impar between 2009 and 2011. Pain intensity visual numeric scale (VNS) scores and Euroqol 5D (EQ-5D) index scores were recorded pre-intervention and post-intervention at the first, sixth, and twelfth months. The differences between pre-procedural VNS scores and post-procedural VNS scores at the first, sixth, and twelfth months were evaluated. The success of the intervention was recorded as the percentage difference between the pre-intervention VNS scores and post-intervention VNS scores at the first, sixth, and twelfth months.

Results: The mean age of the patients, including 11 females (55%) and 8 males (45%), was 48.7 ± 14.3 years. The average follow-up duration was 17.3 ± 2.9 months. Statistically significant differences were observed between the pre- and post-procedure VNS scores (P < 0.0001). Improvements in VNS scores were correlated with improvements in EQ-5D index scores. Mid-term (sixth month) and long-term (twelfth month) evaluations after the intervention revealed that 67.4% and 61.1% of the patients had successful outcomes, respectively.

Conclusion: Our data suggested that RFT of the ganglion impar in patients with chronic coccydynia resulted in effective outcomes, and patients who responded to RFT had significantly lower post-RFT pain scores.

Keywords: coccydynia; ganglion impar; radiofrequency thermocoagulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electrocoagulation / methods*
  • Female
  • Ganglia, Sympathetic / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sacrococcygeal Region