Cervical radiofrequency neurotomy in patients with chronic whiplash: A study of multiple outcome measures

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Object. Cervical radiofrequency neurotomy (CRFN) is used in the treatment of patients with chronic pain and disability due to whiplash injury. Confirmation of its efficiency has, however, been based solely on pain and psychological distress factors. The aim of the present study was to extend the assessment of CRFN efficacy by adding other outcome measures to shed light on neuromotor-functional-psychological interactions by undertaking comparison of pre- and 1-year postintervention data. Methods. Forty patients with chronic whiplash injury-associated disorders were evaluated prior to and at two separate sessions after CRFN. The evaluation included Neck Disability Index, cervical range of motion, isometric cervical muscle strength, cervical pressure pain threshold, Symptom Check List-90-Revised, and subjective Self-Report of Improvement (SRI). The authors found that the CRFN had a significantly positive effect on all measured parameters. A case-by-case analysis revealed improvement in 70% of the patients at the final follow-up examination. Using stringent cutoff values, between 30 and 60% of the patients experienced measurable improvement. Evaluation of SRI results indicated that more than 80% of the patients were satisfied with the procedure. Conclusions. Approximately 1 year after intervention, CRFN was associated with an acceptable rate of success, as reflected by objective and subjective outcome measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-373
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Cervical spine
  • Chronic whiplash
  • Outcome assessment
  • Radiofrequency neurotomy


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