Peripheral nerve pulsed radiofrequency for trigeminal neuralgia treatment: Is it an effective method?

Agri. 2023 Apr;35(2):96-102. doi: 10.14744/agri.2022.93609.


Objectives: Trigeminal neuralgia is a paroxysmal and shock-like pain in the trigeminal nerve area. Various treatment options have been used for trigeminal neuralgia such as medical treatment, interventional procedures, and surgical operations. Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) is a minimally invasive percutaneous technique which seems to be safer and easier to perform. This retrospective study aims to evaluate the analgesic effect, duration of efficacy, and side effects of PRF procedures in the peripheral branches of the trigeminal nerve.

Methods: The data of the patients with trigeminal neuralgia who were followed up in our hospital's algology clinic from 2016 to 2018 were reviewed retrospectively. Patients aged between 18 and 70 who did not respond to medical treatment or could not use medication due to side effects were treated with PRF procedure for peripheral branches of trigeminal nerve that was selected for this study. Demographic profile, clinical presentation, pain intensity, duration of efficacy, and complications were evaluated from their files.

Results: Twenty-one patients who underwent ultrasonography guided PRF procedures were included the study. Mean visual analog scale value of the patients was found to have decreased from 9.25±0.63 to 1.55±0.88 at the end of the 1st month (p<0.001). The painless period for the patients lasted up to 12 (9-21) months and no complications occurred.

Conclusion: PRF procedure seems to be an effective and safe method in patients who respond to block of the peripheral branches of the trigeminal nerve.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Nerves
  • Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatment* / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia* / surgery
  • Young Adult