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The aim of the study was to evaluate the possibility of US navigation for Radiofrequency denervation (RFD) of the lumbar facets.

Material and methods. The authors performed a prospective controlled cohort study which included 50 patients with chronic pain syndrome who underwent RFD LIII-SI facets on both sides. The main group (US) included 25 patients, who underwent US guided navigation with FScontrol of the correct placement of the cannula prior to ablation. In the control group (FS) the RFD was performed only under FS control. Patients were selected after preliminary test block of medial branch with 50% pain reduction from the baseline. Patients with overweight, spinal deformity, pronounced degenerative changes, spinal stenosis and developmental anomalies were not included in the study. For the evaluation of outcomes, the numeric pain scale NRS-11 and the Oswestry index (ODI) were used, the accuracy of the cannula position was assessed and factors determining the accuracy were searched.

Results. As a result of the intervention, there was a significant decrease of NRS-11 and ODI criteria in both groups (p<0.001), a positive outcome was achieved in 18 (72%) of US patients and 16 (64%) of FS patients, p = 0.564. Of the 200 attempts to position the cannula under the ultrasound control, 169 (84.5%) were successful, in most cases (187 out of 200, 93.5%) at least 3 attempts were required to reposition the cannula. The average time for performing the procedure under the ultrasound control was 47.3±1.13 minutes. The facet angle and procedure level were defined as predictors of the cannula positioning accuracy, odds ratio 0.93 (95% CI 0.894–0.963) and 0.51 (95% CI 0.32–0.805), respectively.

Conclusion. RFD of lumbar facet under ultrasound navigation allows to achieve a relatively high accuracy of the cannula position into the zone of passage of the articular branch. The navigation capabilities are reduced at the level of LV and SI vertebrae due to structural features of the joints, namely coronary orientation of the facets with the formation of a narrow space between the transverse and upper articular process, which create difficulties for scanning. The disadvantage of ultrasound control is the lengthy procedure and the need for repeated reinsertion of the cannulae worsening the patient’s tolerance of procedure.

About the authors

I. V. Volkov

Vreden Russian Research Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics; Nikiforov Russian Center of Emergency and Radiation Medicine

Author for correspondence.
Email: ivanvolkov@yandex.ru

Ivan V. Volkov — Cand. Sci. (Med.), Senior Researcher VRRITO; Neurosurgeon Nikiforov RCERM.

8, ul. Akad. Baykova, St. Petersburg, 195427; 54, ul. Optikov, St. Petersburg, 197345 Russian Federation

I. Sh. Karabaev

Nikiforov Russian Center of Emergency and Radiation Medicine

Email: fake@neicon.ru

Igor’ Sh. Karabaev — Cand. Sci. (Med.), Associate Professor, Head of neurosurgical department..

54, ul. Optikov, St. Petersburg, 197345 Russian Federation

D. A. Ptashnikov

Vreden Russian Research Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics; Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University

Email: fake@neicon.ru

Dmitry A. Ptashnikov — Dr. Sci. (Med.), Professor, Head of Spinal Surgery and Oncology Department, Vreden Russian Research Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics; Head of Traumatology and Orthopedic department, MNWSMU.

8, ul. Akad. Baykova, St. Petersburg, 195427; 41, Kirochnaya ul., St. Petersburg, 191015

Russian Federation

N. A. Konovalov

Burdenko National Scientific and Practical Center for Neurosurgery

Email: fake@neicon.ru

Nikolai A. Konovalov — Сorresponding member of RAS, Dr. Sci. (Med.), Head of Spinal Department.

16, 4th Tverskaya-Yamskaya ul., Moscow, 125047 Russian Federation

K. A. Poyarkov

Nikiforov Russian Center of Emergency and Radiation Medicine

Email: fake@neicon.ru

Konstantin A. Poyarkov — neurosurgeon.

54, ul. Optikov, St. Petersburg, 197345 Russian Federation


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