COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Radiofrequency denervation of lumbar facet joints in the treatment of chronic low back pain: a randomized, double-blind, sham lesion-controlled trial

Roelof M A W van Wijk, Jos W M Geurts, Herman J Wynne, Edwin Hammink, Erik Buskens, Richel Lousberg, Johannes T A Knape, Gerbrand J Groen
Clinical Journal of Pain 2005, 21 (4): 335-44
15951652

OBJECTIVES: Radiofrequency facet joint denervation procedures have been common practice for 2 decades in treatment of chronic low back pain. We designed this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, sham treatment controlled trial to determine the efficacy of radiofrequency facet joint denervation, as it is routinely performed.

METHODS: Inclusion criteria were low back pain, duration more than 6 months, and >or=50% Visual Analog Scale (VAS) reduction on diagnostic block. Exclusion criteria were prior radiofrequency treatment, radicular syndrome, coagulopathies, specific allergies, cancer, and pregnancy. A total of 81 out of 462 patients were randomized to undergo radiofrequency facet joint denervation or sham treatment. The first evaluation was carried out 3 months after treatment. Primary outcome was determined with a combined outcome measure comprising VAS, physical activities, and analgesic intake, from a twice-weekly recorded diary. Secondary outcome measures were the separate diary parameters, global perceived effect (complete relief, >50% relief, no effect, pain increase), and SF-36 Quality of Life Questionnaire.

RESULTS: There were no dropouts before the first evaluation. The combined outcome measure showed no differences between radio- frequency facet joint denervation (n=40; success 27.5%) and sham (n=41; success 29.3%) (P=0.86). The VAS in both groups improved (P<0.001). Global perceived effect improved after radiofrequency facet joint denervation (P<0.05). The other secondary outcome parameters showed no significant differences. Relevant costs were evaluated.

DISCUSSION: The combined outcome measure and VAS showed no difference between radiofrequency and sham, though in both groups, significant VAS improvement occurred. The global perceived effect was in favor of radiofrequency. In selected patients, radiofrequency facet joint denervation appears to be more effective than sham treatment.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
15951652
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"