Research – Lumbar Radiofrequency Neurotomy


** click the blue article titles below for the abstracts
note: recent additions will be added to the top of the list

6 – Effectiveness of repeated radiofrequency neurotomy for lumbar facet pain

  • Spine. 2004 Nov 1;29(21):2471-3.
  • Each RF neurotomy had a mean duration of relief = 10.5 months
  • The repeat ablations were successful more than 85% of the time (and some of the patients had up to 4 repeated procedures)

5 – Efficacy of radiofrequency procedures for the treatment of spinal pain: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials

  • Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2001 Sep-Oct;26(5):394-400
  • “…there is moderate evidence that RF lumbar facet denervation is more effective for chronic low back pain than placebo.”

4 – Efficacy and validity of radiofrequency neurotomy for chronic lumbar zygapophysial joint pain

  • Spine. 2000 May 15;25(10):1270-7.
  • “…effective means of reducing pain in patients carefully selected on the basis of controlled diagnostic blocks.”
  • Correct positioning of the electrode should be based on radiographic anatomy, not by means of measuring impedance.
  • 90% relief of pain at 12 months in 60% of patients

3 – Percutaeous radiofrequency facet rhizotomy–experience with 118 procdedures and reappraisal of its value

  • Can J Neurol Sci. 2000 May;27(2):125-30.
  • Exacerbation of pain with extension of the spine did NOT correlate with better results.
  • Success was consistent with repeated procedures.

2 – Randomized trial of radiofrequency lumbar facet denervation for chronic low back pain

  • Spine. 1999 Sep 15;24(18):1937-42.
  • 31 patients with at least one year of chronic low back pain
  • Compared radiofrequency denervation vs sham procedure [double-blind, randomized trial]
  • Significantly more success patients in the radiofrequency group compared with the sham group.

1 – Percutaneous radiofrequency lumbar facet rhizotomy in mechanical low back pain syndrome

  • Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 1997;68(1-4 Pt 1):212-7.
  • 71% of 324 patients had marked improvement of pain (including 29 cases with previous spinal surgery)
  • No complications


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