Pulsed radiofrequency application in the treatment of chronic pain

Dan C. Martin, Mark L. Willis, L. Ashley Mullinax, Natalie L. Clarke, Jay A. Homburger, Ines H. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The efficacy of pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) in the treatment of painful lumbosacral spondylosis has been reported. This case series reviews 22 consecutive patients presenting to clinic who had been previously treated with PRF with good results. Patients being prescribed opioids were excluded. During the PRF application, tissue temperature was limited to 43°C. A minimum of 200mA of current was delivered in each case. The minimum current (at 50Hz) necessary to stimulate the involved nerve was recorded. The duration of time from PRF treatment until the patient requested a subsequent application was documented. The effective duration of PRF in patients treated for lumbosacral spondylosis ranged from 5 to 18months (mean ± SD: 9 ± 3.7 months; n = 16). PRF applications to dorsal root ganglia were effective from 2 to 12months (7 ± 3.8 months; n = 8). Similar results were observed when PRF was applied to cervical medial branch nerves, one suprascapular nerve, and one stellate ganglion. The mean (50Hz) sensory stimulation thresholds obtained before treatment ranged from 0.08V to 0.14V. In this select population of patients not receiving controlled substances, who had a favorable response to a previous PRF application, the duration of pain relief supports the use of PRF as an effective pain treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-35
Number of pages5
JournalPain Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007


  • Dorsalroot ganglia
  • Medialbranch nerves
  • Pulsed radiofrequency
  • Suprascapular nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Pulsed radiofrequency application in the treatment of chronic pain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this