Session Time: 12:45pm-1:45pm
Disclosures: James B. Meiling, DO: No financial relationships or conflicts of interest
Objective: To review the current literature regarding the efficacy of radiofrequency techniques, including radiofrequency ablation (RFA), pulsed radiofrequency (PRF), and low-temperature plasma radiofrequency ablation (coblation) for alleviation of phantom-limb pain (PLP).
Design: A literature review was performed using the PUBMED database through December 2019. The authors constructed a search term using the following phrases: (radiofrequency OR radiofrequency ablation OR radiofrequency neurotomy) AND (phantom limb pain). Setting : N/A Participants : N/A
Main Outcome Measures: N/A
Results: As a result of the online literature review, (7) articles were located that fit the overall purpose of the authors’ systematic review – (3) case series and (4) case reports. Of the 4 patients treated with RFA, 3 (75%) had complete relief of PLP while the remaining patient had decreased levels of pain compared to prior to the procedure. Of the 7 patients treated with PRF, 4 (57%) had clinically significant reduction in PLP. While the remaining 3 cases did not show significant relief of pain, 2 of the cases, however, had increased responsiveness to their pain medications post-PRF. The remaining patient only reported transient relief in the first few days, but without proper description of the anatomical target of the procedure, the methodology of the treatment can be questioned. Coblation has shown to significantly reduce PLP in 1 case study. In total, 9 of the 12 (75%) reported reduced PLP. Conclusions: Despite limited quantity and quality of evidence, using radiofrequency techniques for chronic pain relief of PLP has potential benefit. There is a paucity of available literature studying radiofrequency techniques for PLP, but, despite this, there is some evidence for its efficacy and widespread evidence for the safety of the technique, as used for other indications. Thus, further study and publications regarding the usage of radiofrequency techniques for PLP is necessary in order to improve awareness and demonstrate efficacy and safety.
Level of Evidence: Level III
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Meiling JB, Barndt B, Raum GM, Nguyen N, Ha C. Radiofrequency Techniques for Alleviation of Post-Amputation Phantom Limb Pain: A Systematic Review [abstract]. PM R. 2020; 12(S1)(suppl 1). https://pmrjabstracts.org/abstract/radiofrequency-techniques-for-alleviation-of-post-amputation-phantom-limb-pain-a-systematic-review/. Accessed October 23, 2021.
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