The effect of intra-articular stimulation by pulsed radiofrequency on chronic sacroiliac joint pain refractory to intra-articular corticosteroid injection: A retrospective study

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Abstract

We investigated the degree of pain reduction following intra-articular (IA) pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) stimulation of the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) in patients with chronic SIJ pain that had not responded to IA corticosteroid injection. Twenty patients were recruited. Clinical outcomes after applying PRF stimulation of the SIJ were evaluated by a numeric rating scale (NRS) and a 7-point Likert scale. The NRS scores significantly changed over time. The NRS scores at 1, 2, and 3 months after PRF were significantly lower than those before PRF. However, 4 of the 20 patients (20%) reported successful pain relief (pain relief of ≥ 50%) and were satisfied with the PRF stimulation at 3 months after treatment. IA PRF stimulation of the SIJ was not successful in most patients (80% of all patients). Based on our results, we cannot recommend this procedure to patients with chronic SIJ pain that was unresponsive to IA SIJ corticosteroid injection. Further studies on the effective mode of PRF stimulation and appropriate patient group, and studies on pain conditions that are most responsive to PRF are needed in the future.

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