BACKGROUND To assess the therapeutic efficacy of transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI) combined with radio frequency (RF) for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation (LDH).
METHODS A total of 230 patients participated in the study: TFESI (Group T, n = 110), TFESI combined with RF (Group TR, n = 120). Visual analogue scale (VAS), Oswestry disability index (ODI) and Global perceived effect (GPE) scale were measured pre-operation, 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months after the operation. Hospitalization time, treatment time, complications, and recurrence were compared between the two groups.
RESULTS The VAS and ODI at each observation point of the post-operation were significantly decreased compared with the pre-operation in both groups (P < 0.05). There was no statistically difference of VAS and ODI between the two groups at 1 and 3 months of the post-operation (P > 0.05). However, The VAS and ODI scores in Group TR were significantly lower than that in Group T at 6, 12 and 24 months of the post-operation (P < 0.05). The GPE in group TR was high in the early days, while that at 1 and 3 months after treatment was significantly higher than that in group T (P < 0.05). The recurrence rate in Group TR was lower than that in Group T (P = 0.002). There was no significant difference in hospitalization time, complications, VAS and ODI score at the pre-operation between the two groups (P > 0.05).
CONCLUSION These findings suggest that TFESI combined with RF could effectively improve the pain and function, and had a long-term satisfactory effect for the treatment of LDH.