gms | German Medical Science

63. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC)
Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (JNS)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC) e. V.

13. - 16. Juni 2012, Leipzig

Zygapophysial joint pain in post lumbar surgery syndrome. The efficacy of medial branch blocks and radiofrequency neurotomy

Meeting Abstract

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  • S. Klessinger - Nova Clinic, Biberach, Germany

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 63. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (JNS). Leipzig, 13.-16.06.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocSA.08.06

doi: 10.3205/12dgnc357, urn:nbn:de:0183-12dgnc3576

Veröffentlicht: 4. Juni 2012

© 2012 Klessinger.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Objective: To investigate the relevance of the zygapophysial joints as a pain source in patients after disc surgery and to determine the efficacy of therapeutic medial branch blocks and radiofrequency neurotomy.

Methods: Review of charts of all patients who underwent lumbar disc surgery during a time period of two years. Patients with persistent postsurgical axial pain were first treated with a therapeutic medial branch block. Patients with recurrent pain were considered for radiofrequency neurotomy after being tested with a second medial branch block. 80% pain relief was required. Positive treatment response after radiofrequency neurotomy was defined for at least 50% pain reduction.

Results: 479 patients after microsurgical lumbar disc operations were examined. Persistent axial back pain (non-radicular pain) occurred in 110 patients. 57 of these patients were successfully treated with a single therapeutic medial branch block, 19 patients did not respond. The remaining 34 patients were treated with radiofrequency neurotomy. In 20 patients, a pain reduction of at least 50% for a minimum of 6 month was achieved. Together 70% of the patients with non-radicular back pain after disc surgery were treated successfully with medial branch blocks and radiofrequency neurotomy. Significantly more recurrent disc herniations are found in the non-responder groups compared to the successfully treated patients (33.3% versus 3.9%).

Conclusions: Only limited information exists about the efficacy of interventional procedures in the management of pain after disc surgery. This is the first study that suggests that therapeutic interventions, in particular medial branch blocks and radiofrequency neurotomy, are an effective and rational therapy for these patients.