Evidence-based Status of Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatment for Patients with Shoulder Pain: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials


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Abstract

▪ AbstractPurpose:Review the current evidence-based status of pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) treatment for patients with shoulder pain based on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to provide a comprehensive analysis and a balanced view of the strengths and weaknesses of this treatment.Methods:PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and ISI Web of Science were searched up to July 2014, using the Boolean operators as follows: shoulder pain OR painful shoulder AND pulsed radiofrequency). All prospective randomized controlled trials of PRF treatment for patients with shoulder pain were retrieved. No limitation of the language or publication year existed in our analysis.Results:Five of 114 studies that involved PRF treatment met the inclusion criteria of this review article. These studies compared the clinical outcomes of PRF with those of other treatments such as intra-articular corticosteroid injection and conventional transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. All the studies reported improvements in passive range of motion (PROM), visual analog scale (VAS), and Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI) in PRF treatment that persisted for at least 12 weeks. In addition, no complications were reported in all trials.Conclusion:The use of PRF treatment for patients with shoulder pain was observed to result in good clinical efficacy for at least 12 weeks with no complication reported. However, it is still unclear from the currently available publications whether PRF is superior to other treatment techniques such as intra-articular corticosteroid and conventional transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

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