Pulsed radiofrequency treatment adjacent to the cervical dorsal root ganglion is used to treat persistent cervical radicular pain that has not responded to conservative therapies. This technique has gained popularity in years for both cervical and lumbosacral radicular pain. The evidence to support its use is still evolving.
We performed a retrospective review of outcomes in 59 patients who underwent this therapy over a 3-year period in our institution. We evaluated a reduction in pain, duration of pain relief, reduction in use of analgesics and progression to surgery.
Our results demonstrated 49 patients experienced some relief. Forty patients of the 59 experienced an improvement in pain of 50% or more. The mean duration of relief in this group was 37 weeks. Seven patients experienced complete resolution of their pain. In this group, the mean duration of relief was 39 weeks. Regarding the 53 patients who were taking medication for pain prior to the procedure, 37 patients reduced or discontinued their usage after the procedure.
Despite the limitations of a retrospective study, we feel our study adds to the growing evidence base that pulsed radiofrequency treatment adjacent to the cervical dorsal root ganglion has a role in the treatment of chronic cervical radicular pain.
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O’Gara, A., Leahy, A., McCrory, C. et al. Dorsal root ganglion pulsed radiofrequency treatment for chronic cervical radicular pain: a retrospective review of outcomes in fifty-nine cases. Ir J Med Sci 189, 299–303 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11845-019-02087-4