Table of Contents
Advances in Anesthesiology
Volume 2016, Article ID 2136381, 5 pages
Clinical Study

The Effect of Pulsed Radiofrequency Combined with a Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection on Chronic Lumbar Radicular Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1Department of Anesthesiology, Phramongkutklao Hospital, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
2Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
3Department of Anesthesia, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1A4

Received 17 September 2015; Revised 13 February 2016; Accepted 15 February 2016

Academic Editor: Young-Chang P. Arai

Copyright © 2016 Sithapan Munjupong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Pulsed radiofrequency lesioning (PRFL) of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) can modulate neural pathways and provide prolonged relief of neuropathic pain, with limited evidence for chronic lumbosacral radicular pain (CLRP). Objective. This study compared the effect of PRFL combined with transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI) to TFESI alone on CLRP. Methods. Forty adults with chronic radicular pain of at least six-month duration were randomly allocated to undergo either a PRFL of the affected DRG followed by a TFESI (treatment group) or a TFESI alone (control group). Participants and assessors were blinded to the allocation and outcomes were assessed at 1, 2, 3, and 4 months. Outcomes. Pain intensity (visual analog score, VAS) was the primary outcome and quality of life (QOL) as measured by the SF-36 was a secondary outcome. Results. There was no difference in baseline characteristics between groups. VAS was significantly lower in the treatment group at 2-month and 3-month but not 4-month follow-up. QOL measurements did not differ between groups. Conclusions. PRFL of the lumbosacral DRG combined with TFESI showed a modest advantage over TFESI alone in reducing pain intensity; however, this did not persist beyond the 3-month follow-up. There was no effect on QOL.