Turkish Neurosurgery 2022 , Vol 32 , Num 1
Facet Median Branch Radiofrequency Thermocoagulation Treatment at Different Temperatures and Durations in Patients with Lumbar Facet Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Double-Blind Study
Esra ERTILAV1,Osman Nuri AYDIN1,K. Varlik EREL2
1Adnan Menderes University, School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Division of Algology, Aydin, Turkey
2Adnan Menderes University, School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Aydin, Turkey
DOI : 10.5137/1019-5149.JTN.34637-21.2 AIM: To evaluate the effect of various temperatures and durations of radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFT) for the treatment of low back pain that is caused by facet joints.

MATERIAL and METHODS: This is a randomized controlled, double-blind study. Patients diagnosed with facet syndrome were randomly divided into three groups. RFT was applied to the medial branches, which received senses from the facet joint 90ºC 50 seconds in 31 patients, 85ºC 60 seconds in 32 patients, 70ºC 90 seconds in 33 patients at constant current and impedance values. Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) scores before and after the treatment (1 and 6 months), the need for additional analgesics after treatment, and opioid dose changes were recorded.

RESULTS: The demographic data of the groups were similar. NRS scores in all three groups were significantly lower at 1 and 6 months (p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, respectively). At the first and sixth months, there was no significant difference between the groups in patients who experienced a 50% reduction in pain intensity (p=0.1, p=0.7, respectively). Patients who had back surgery had a significantly lower rate of pain regression (p=0.001).

CONCLUSION: In patients with lumbar facet syndrome, RFT application in every 3 degrees and seconds is effective because it generates equal energy, and there was no significant difference in pain relief between the groups. Keywords : Facet syndrome, Radiofrequency thermocoagulation, Low back pain, Medial branch, Facet denervation, Neurotomy

Corresponding author : K. VARLIK EREL, varlik.erel@gmail.com