BACKGROUND Severe low back pain (LBP) is an occasional complaint in patients with neuromuscular disorders (NMDs). Accurate diagnosis and treatment are required to manage LBP; however, the precise pathophysiology differs for each patient. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of lumbar facet joint denervation (FJD) and adjunctive modalities in the treatment of LBP in patients with NMD-associated kyphoscoliosis.
METHODS A total of 16 patients (22 sites) with NMD (bilateral, n = 6; unilateral, n = 10) and LBP treated with lumbar FJD were evaluated. The patients were divided into two groups: those treated with FJD alone (group 1) and those treated with multimodal treatment, including FJD along with radiofrequency ablation for sacroiliac joint pain, piriform muscle block, botulinum toxin injection into the paraspinal muscles, spinal cord stimulation, or any of their combinations (group 2). All patients were followed up for 48 weeks postoperatively. The two groups were compared with respect to the duration required for improvements in LBP by more than 50% (numerical rating scale ≤ 5).
RESULTS There was no significant difference between the groups regarding the age, duration since the onset of Parkinson’s syndrome, and radiographic analysis. The effective period of improved pain was greater in group 2 than in group 1 (30.7 vs. 8.4 weeks, P<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS Multimodal treatment including FJD is safe and relatively effective in patients with NMD-associated kyphoscoliosis. Hence, it is a potential substitute for conventional spinal fixation surgery, which has a higher risk of complications.