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J Korean Acad Rehabil Med. 2009 Feb;33(1):94-97. Korean. Original Article.
Jho SK , Kim KM , Chang JH , Shin YB , Ko HY , Sohn HJ .
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Korea.
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Busan Medical Center, Korea.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the rates and mean duration of symptom recurrence after repeated radiofrequency thermocoagulations of the lumbar medial branch nerves for facet joint syndrome. METHOD: Medical records of 284 patients who had consecutive radiofrequency thermocoagulations for facet joint syndrome were reviewed. Responses of repeated radiofrequency thermocoagulations were compared with the initial radiofrequency thermocoagulation for mean duration of symptom recurrence and visual analogue scale (VAS). RESULTS: Forty-one (14.4%) among the patients who had radiofrequency thermocoagulation for facet joint syndrome were treated with additional radiofrequency thermocoagulation because of symptom recurrence. Thirty-seven patients were treated twice and four patients were treated three times. The mean duration of symptom recurrence of these patients was 7.3 months (2.3~12.3 months). Reduction of the VAS pain scores were significantly lower after repeated radiofrequency thermocoagulations compared with initial radiofrequency thermocoagulation (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: With well-defined diagnostic criteria for facet joint syndrome and a meticulous technique of radiofrequency thermocoagulation, radiofrequency thermocoagulation would be a useful treatment modality for patients with facet joint syndrome.

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