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Cryoneurolysis for the treatment of cervical facet joint syndrome: a technical note

Authors Wolter T, Kleinmann B, Knoeller S

Received 29 December 2017

Accepted for publication 3 April 2018

Published 19 June 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 1165—1169

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S161053

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Minal Joshi

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Katherine Hanlon


Tilman Wolter,1 Barbara Kleinmann,1 Stefan Knoeller2,3

1Interdisciplinary Pain Center, 2Department of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery, Medical Center–University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany; 3Department of Spine Surgery, Helios Klinik Breisach, Breisach, Germany

Objective: Neck pain has an annual prevalence of 30%. A frequent cause of neck pain is cervical facet joint pain. In cases of refractory cervical facet joint pain, radiofrequency can be employed, but the grade of evidence attested in systematic reviews is fair. Cryoneurolysis has been reported to induce favorable outcomes in lumbar facet joint pain. We sought to examine the feasibility of cervical facet joint cryoneurolysis.
Setting: Tertiary academic pain center.
Patients and methods: We report here the operative technique of cervical facet joint cryoneurolysis for patients with cervical facet joint pain. The procedure is performed under CT-guidance. The lesion points are defined with the help of sensory stimulation.
Results: Six cervical facet joint denervations were carried out in five patients. All patients had an uneventful course with adequate pain relief. Apart from soreness of the paravertebral muscles no severe side effects were encountered.
Conclusion: This is the first report of cryoneurolysis for the treatment of cervical facet joint pain. The technique is feasible and warrants further studies.

Keywords: neck pain, facet joint pain, cervical spine, cryoneurolysis

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