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Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2019 Jan 19;23(1):4. doi: 10.1007/s11916-019-0745-5.

A Systematic Review of Radiofrequency Treatment of the Ankle for the Management of Chronic Foot and Ankle Pain.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
2
Department of Orthopedics, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA.
3
Valley Anesthesiology and Pain Consultants, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
4
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
5
Department of Anesthesiology, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE, USA.
6
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 600 Highland Avenue, B6/319 CSC, Madison, WI, 53792-3272, USA. alaaawny@hotmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic pain of the lower extremity remains challenging to manage. Radiofrequency treatment applies heat to nerve fibers with the goal of mitigating chronic pain conditions. The clinical efficacy has not yet been adequately established for pathologies of the ankle and foot. In this review paper, we report the use and efficacy of radiofrequency treatment applied to foot and ankle pain.

RECENT FINDINGS:

PubMed and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register were searched (final search 30 March 2018) using the MeSH terms "radiofrequency ablation," "neurolysis," "radiofrequency therapy," "pain syndrome," "analgesia," "plantar heel pain," "plantar fascitis," and "chronic pain" in the English literature. Of the 23 papers screened, 18 were further investigated for relevance. Our final search methodology yielded 15 studies that investigated the use of radiofrequency treatment at the ankle. Of these 15 studies, there were three randomized control trials, four prospective studies, three retrospective studies, and five case reports. The quality of selected publications was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias instrument. The evidence from our studies suggests that radiofrequency treatment can be used safely for the management foot and ankle pain. The technique (continuous vs pulsatile), temperature, location of treatment, and duration of administration need more thorough evaluation. Randomized control trials are needed to establish the efficacy and safety profile of radiofrequency ablation and its long-term benefits in patients with chronic pain of the foot and ankle.

CONCLUSION:

The evidence from our studies suggests that radiofrequency treatment can be used safely for the management foot and ankle pain. The technique (continuous vs pulsatile), temperature, location of treatment, and duration of administration need more thorough evaluation. Randomized control trials are needed to establish the efficacy and safety profile of radiofrequency ablation and its long-term benefits in patients with chronic pain of the foot and ankle.

KEYWORDS:

Analgesia; Ankle pain; Foot pain; Radiofrequency ablation

PMID:
30661127
DOI:
10.1007/s11916-019-0745-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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