Skip to main content

Table 3 Studies demonstrating the effects of PRF on spinal pain conditions

From: Assessing the effectiveness of ‘pulse radiofrequency treatment of dorsal root ganglion’ in patients with chronic lumbar radicular pain: study protocol for a randomized control trial

Studies Patients and treatments Results Observations
Van Zundert et al.[37] 18 patients with cervical headache and cervico-brachialgia; PRF-DRG 13/18 patients >50% pain relief at 8 weeks, at 1 year 6 patients had continuing pain relief; no complications reported First documented evidence of PRF treatment in cervical syndromes
Van Zundert et al.[16] P, R, DB, RCT, sham controlled 23 patients with Cervico brachial pain; 11 patients had PRF-DRG and 12 had Sham 3 months - 82% patients in the PRF-DRG group and 25–33% in the Sham group had successful results (P = 0.02–0.03) PRF-DRG may provide pain relief in patients with cervico-brachial pain
Tsou et al.[38] Retrospective 127 patients; group A - back pain without lower limb pain, group B - back pain with lower limb pain Successful treatment shown; At 3 months: Group A - 27/45 and Group B - 37/78 patients At 1 year: Group A - 20–45 patients and Group B - 34/74 patients Pulsed radiofrequency applied at the L-2 DRG is safe and effective for treating for chronic low-back pain
Kroll et al.[22] Prospective, DB, randomised 50 patients treated with CRF or PRF of lumbar facets, and assessed with VAS, ODI -measured at baseline and 3 months No difference in the two groups, however over time the CRF patients showed better scores than PRF Effects of PRF may be limited by time when compared to CRF
Simopoulous et al.[25] Pilot - prospective RCT 26 patients with lumbosacral radicular pain grouped to PRF-DRG or PRF-DRG followed by CRF-DRG At 2 months 70% of PRF showed significant reduction of pain scores compared to 83% in CRF after PRF, no statistical difference PRF-DRG appears to be a good treatment without side effects for lumbosacral radicular pain
Lindner et al.[39] Retrospective study 48 patients with positive diagnostic blockade of lumbar medial branch, had PRF 21/29 patients with no previous surgery and 5/19 patients with previous surgery showed successful pain relief at 4 months, significant difference in PRF efficacy in between groups (P = 0.0028) PRF of lumbar medial branch for facetogenic pain is safe and works well in patients who have not had back surgeries
Texiera et al.[40] Prospective, case series 8 patients with discography confirmed discogenic pain - intradiscal PRF Significant drop in NRS scores at 3 months, 4 patients were reportedly pain free after 12 months Intradiscal PRF merits a controlled prospective study
Chao et al.[15] 154 patients with cervical (n = 49), lumbar (n = 105) radicular pain due to herniated disc and FBSS At 3 months 27/49 in cervical and 52/105 in lumbar patients had pain relief >50% Application of PRF is a safe and useful intervention for cervical and lumbar radicular pain
Texiera et al.[14] Retrospective study 13 patients with lumbosacral radicular pain due to herniated disc had PRF-DRG Significant pain reduction (P = 0.01), was found in 11 patients from 4 weeks lasting up to 15 months, only 1 patient had a small area of low sensation at L3 area in the last follow-up PRF may potentially be a viable alternative for epidural steroid injections in the treatment of radicular pain
Shabat et al.[41] Retrospective 28 patients with chronic neuropathic pain of spinal origin had PRF-DRG 19 patients had successful pain relied lasting for an year, with no reported complication PRF is a safe and an effective procedure for patients who suffer from chronic neuropathic pain from spinal origin
Tekin et al.[23] Prospective RCT 60 patients grouped with clinical diagnosis of facet joint pain - grouped into LA, PRF, and CRF groups Pain relief in PRF and CRF better, however in the follow-up period the relief was not sustained in the PRF group Pain relief with PRF is comparable to CRF, but the duration of effect is shorter
Mikeladze et al.[42] Retrospective study 114 patients with cervical and lumbar pain, responsive to diagnostic medial branch block-PRF 68 patients had significant pain relief lasting at least 4 months PRF of medial branch is a successful intervention in selected patients with no complications