Session Time: 11:15am-12:45pm
Location: Research Hub - Kiosk 7
Disclosures: Alexander Heck, MD: Nothing to disclose
Objective: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of lumbar medial branch RFA for the treatment of facet joint pain in patients with spondylolisthesis, either mobile or immobile; and to evaluate if multifidus muscle denervation may contribute to the progression of spondylolisthesis, segmental instability, and/or reduced clinical efficacy of RFA in this population.
Design: Literature review.
Main Outcome Measures: Peer reviewed clinical data establishing either the safety or the harm of RFA in patients with spondylolisthesis.
Results: A literature review was performed in order to evaluate the current and pertinent evidence regarding lumbar medial branch RFA and its role in treating lumbar facet joint pain in patients with spondylolisthesis. Extensive review found limited quality data addressing RFA in this population. While studies exist indicating RFA is effective for relief of lumbar facet joint pain in this population, there were no studies evaluating for progressive spondylolisthesis following this procedure. Although medial branch RFA may cause multifidus denervation and subsequent atrophy, a causal relationship has not been fully or reliably established between progression of spondylolisthesis and either spinal stabilizer denervation or atrophy.
Conclusions There is no direct clinical evidence to suggest RFA for the treatment of lumbar facet joint pain will cause harm to patients with spondylolisthesis. However, the progression of spondylolisthesis or generation of instability as a consequence of this procedure has not been evaluated. Further investigation is required in order to evaluate the potential consequences of RFA in this patient population.
Level of Evidence: Level V
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Heck A, Vallabh J. Exploration of Lumbar Medial Branch Radio-frequency Ablation (RFA) for the Treatment of Facet Joint Pain in Patients with Spondylolisthesis [abstract]. PM R. 2019; 11(S2)(suppl 2). https://pmrjabstracts.org/abstract/exploration-of-lumbar-medial-branch-radio-frequency-ablation-rfa-for-the-treatment-of-facet-joint-pain-in-patients-with-spondylolisthesis/. Accessed January 24, 2022.
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