In their prospective study published in Pain Medicine, Dr. John MacVicar and his collaborators reported on the treatment of 104 patients with RF neurotomy (RFN) of the cervical medial branch according to the guidelines of the International Spine Intervention Society. Patients were selected on the basis of complete relief of pain following controlled, diagnostic, medial branch blocks. Rigorous criteria for success were applied: complete relief of pain for at least 6 months, complete restoration of daily living activities, no need for any additional health care, and return to work. "In the two practices, 74% and 61% of patients achieved a successful outcome. Relief lasted 17–20 months from the first RFN, and 15 months for repeat treatments. Allowing for repeat treatment, patients maintained relief for a median duration of 20–26 months, with some 60% still having relief at follow-up."1
For decades, the 16-gauge RRE electrode has been the choice of pain management specialists who desire larger lesions to increase the length of coagulated nerve and reduce sensitivity to nerve position.
Pain Medicine the official journal of the International Spine Intervention Society, the American Academy of Pain Medicine, and the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.
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- MacVicar J, Borowczyk JM, MacVicar AM, Loughnan BM, Bogduk N. Cervical Medial Branch Radiofrequency Neurotomy in New Zealand. Pain Medicine 2012; 13: 647–654.[Pain Medicine]