Objectives: We aimed to compare the treatment response with simultaneous application of transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TESI) and pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) to the lumbar dorsal root ganglion (DRG) with TESI in patients with chronic lumbar radicular pain.
Methods: A total of 129 patients were enrolled. TESI was performed to 67 patients and TESI+DRG-PRF was performed to 62 patients. Demographic data, surgical records, and medications, side, and level of the procedure were recorded. Patients were evaluated on the pre-operative and post-operative 10th day, 1st and 3rd month follow-up visits, and visual analog scale (VAS, 0-10) scores, and patients' satisfaction assessment on the 3rd month follow-up were collected. A successful therapeutic response was defined as a 50% or more reduction in VAS scores.
Results: In both groups, post-operative VAS scores were significantly lower than the pre-operative levels (p<0.001). VAS scores in the TESI+DRG-PRF group were significantly lower than the TESI group at all follow-up periods (p˂0.001). Reduction ratios in VAS scores were significantly higher in the TESI+DRG-PRF group in all follow-up visits (p˂-0.001). Satisfaction levels were significantly higher in the TESI+DRG-PRF group (p˂0.01).
Conclusion: According to our study, TESI provides short-moderate pain relief in patients with chronic lumbar radicular pain. A simultaneous application of PRF in the same session with TESI should be considered as an option to improve the treatment response.