Evaluation of the efficacy of pulsed radiofrequency therapy in patients with lumbosacral radicular pain: An analysis of single-center data

Agri. 2024 Jan;36(1):38-44. doi: 10.14744/agri.2022.60234.

Abstract

Objectives: Lumbosacral radicular pain (LRP) is one of the most common causes of neuropathic pain. This pain often arises from inflammation in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) or spinal nerves. Despite various treatment modalities, success rates are not very high in chronic LRP cases. Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) therapy, frequently applied to the DRG, is widely used, but its effectiveness is often questioned in various studies. The primary aim of our study is to evaluate the effectiveness of PRF treatment in 154 patients.

Methods: Patients with LRP for longer than 3 months, treated with PRF, were included in this study. To assess the efficacy of PRF treatment, numerical rating scale (NRS) scores were evaluated at the 4th-week and 6th-month follow-ups.

Results: The NRS scores were significantly lower at the 4th-week and 6th-month follow-ups compared to pre-treatment levels (p<0.001). However, there was no significant difference between the mean NRS scores at the 4th week and 6th month.

Conclusion: Success in interventional pain procedures is often considered as at least a 50% reduction in pain scores. The success rate for PRF treatment for LRP in the literature varies between 30% and 60%, which is similar to our findings at the 4th week and 6th month. PRF treatment is widely used due to its low side-effect profile and cost-effectiveness in the long term. There is no fully standardized practice regarding procedural aspects, such as the duration of the application, and prospective studies with larger participation are needed.

MeSH terms

  • Ganglia, Spinal
  • Humans
  • Neuralgia* / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatment* / adverse effects
  • Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatment* / methods
  • Radiofrequency Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome