The comparison of the efficacy of radiofrequency nucleoplasty and targeted disc decompression in lumbar radiculopathy
Chronic low back pain is a common clinical condition causing medical, socioeconomic, and treatment difficulties. In our study, we aimed to compare early and long-term efficacy of lumbar radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFTC) nucleoplasty and targeted disc decompression (TDD) in patients with lumbar radiculopathy in whom previous conventional therapy had failed. The medical records of 37 patients undergoing TDD and 36 patients undergoing lumbar RFTC nucleoplasty were retrospectively examined and assigned to the Group D and Group N, respectively. In all patients Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Functional Rating Index (FRI) were recorded before treatment and after one, six and twelve months after the procedure. The North American Spine Society Satisfaction Scale (NASSSS) was also recoreded twelve months after the therapeutic procedure. Statistically significant postprocedural improvement in VAS and FRI was evident in both groups. VAS scores after one, six, and twelve month were slightly higher in Group N, compared to Group D. The overall procedure-related patient satisfaction ratio was 67.5% in the Group D, compared to 75% in the Group N. Regardless of the different mechanism of action, both methods are effective therapies for lumbar radiculopathy, with TDD showing long-term lower pain scores.
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