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Genicular Nerve Pulsed Dose Radiofrequency (PDRF) Compared to Intra-Articular and Genicular Nerve PDRF in Knee Osteoarthritis Pain: A Propensity Score-Matched Analysis

Authors Leoni MLG, Schatman ME, Demartini L, Lo Bianco G, Terranova G

Received 26 November 2019

Accepted for publication 7 March 2020

Published 3 June 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1315—1321


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval

Matteo Luigi Giuseppe Leoni,1 Michael E Schatman,2,3 Laura Demartini,4 Giuliano Lo Bianco,5– 7 Gaetano Terranova8

1Unit of Interventional Pain Management, Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital, Piacenza, Italy; 2Department of Diagnostic Sciences, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, USA; 3Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA; 4Pain Unit, Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri, Pavia, Italy; 5Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital, Essex, London, Orsett Hospital, Pain Management and Neuromodulation, London, Essex, UK; 6IRCCS Centro Regionale Oncologico Basilicata, Rionero in Vulture, Italy; 7Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences (Biometec), Università di Catania, Catania, Italy; 8Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Department, Asst Gaetano Pini, Milano, Italy

Correspondence: Matteo Luigi Giuseppe Leoni
Unit of Interventional Pain Management, G. da Saliceto Hospital, via Taverna 49, 29121, Piacenza, Italy

Background: Chronic knee osteoarthritic (OA) pain is a common and debilitating complaint in elderly patients. Despite numerous pharmaceutical options, the majority of patients still experience long-term pain. Genicular nerve (GN) radiofrequency has become increasingly popular as a treatment for knee pain. This retrospective study aimed to evaluate the effects of pulse dose radiofrequency (PDRF) in patients with chronic knee OA pain.
Patients and Methods: Propensity score matching analysis was performed in a retrospective cohort of 78 patients with moderate-severe knee OA pain unresponsive to conservative treatment who underwent PDRF GN or intra-articular (IA) and PDRF GN. Pain relief was measured using the numeric rating scale (NRS), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) at 3 and 6 months post-intervention.
Results: A significant reduction in NRS scores was reported at 3 (p< 0.001) and 6 months (p< 0.001) after PDRF in both groups. NRS was lower in PDRF IA + GN than PDRF GN (p< 0.0001). WOMAC pain was significantly reduced at 3 months in PDRF IA + GN group (baseline: 10.12± 3.14, 3 months: 6.25± 2.44, p=0.0001). WOMAC stiffness and function were improved only at 3 months in PDRF IA + GN compared to baseline (p=0.007 and p=0.006, respectively). A longer period of pain relief was reported after PDRF IA + GN (6.75± 2.42 months) compared to PDRF GN (4.31± 2.85 months, p< 0.001) in association with higher PGIC scores.
Conclusion: This is the first study that compared two different PDRF techniques. PDRF GN and PDRF IA + GN were both effective in reducing pain at 3 and 6 months follow-up. However, only PDRF IA + GN was able to improve WOMAC scores at 3 months after the treatment with a longer period of efficacy compared to PDRF GN alone.

Keywords: knee pain, pulse dose radiofrequency; PDRF, radiofrequency; genicular nerve, osteoarthritis, chronic pain, WOMAC, interventional pain management

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