A New Technique to Treat Facet Joint Pain With Pulsed Radiofrequency

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Date
2015-03-01
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Brieflands
Abstract
Introduction: Facet joint pain affects 5% to 15% of the population with low back pain and the prevalence increases with age due to progression of arthritis. While conservative treatments are often unsuccessful, the scientific evidence on minimally invasive therapies such as intra-articular steroid infiltration and continuous and pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) of the medial branches is contradictory. Since PRF has recently been reported to successfully treat joint pain, a new application of this method is proposed for facetogenic lumbar pain via an intra-articular subcapsular approach. Here we reported two cases with successful treatment. Case Presentation: A 71-year-old patient presented because of persisting pain in the left gluteal region radiating to the lateral thigh and calf when standing. Anti-inflammatory drugs produced only short-lasting insufficient relief. A 52-year-old employee was admitted in June 2012 because of axial lower lumbar pain with intermittent diffuse radiation to the right lower extremity that worsened during walking and lying down despite receiving analgesics and physiotherapy. Conclusions: A new approach to treat lumbar facet joint pain with PRF is simple to perform and without serious complications. In view of the good long-lasting results obtained with the two reported cases, randomized control trials are necessary to validate this new approach.
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