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      Efficacy of Coblation Technology in Treating Cervical Discogenic Upper Back Pain

      research-article

      , MD, , MD, , MD, , MD, , MD, , MD

      Medicine

      Wolters Kluwer Health

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          Abstract

          Upper back pain originating from the cervical disk itself is defined as cervical discogenic upper back pain. Coblation procedures can provide therapeutic effects for neck and radicular pain related to contained cervical disk herniation. However, no studies have reported the performance of coblation procedures, particularly for treating cervical discogenic upper back pain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of coblation procedures in treating cervical discogenic upper back pain.

          In a prospective, clinical, observational study, 28 consecutive patients with discogenic upper back pain underwent coblation procedures on the cervical disk with a percutaneous anterior approach. Pain visual analogue scale (VAS) scores, patient responses stating significant (≥50%) pain relief, significant (≥50%) reduction in pain medicine intake and Modified MacNab criteria were adopted to evaluate the pain intensity, degree of pain relief, and functional status after 12 months of follow-up.

          The preoperative pain VAS score was 6.5 ± 1.1 (95% confidence interval [CI] 6.085–6.915), and the pain VAS score significantly decreased to 2.4 ± 1.3 (95% CI 1.929–2.928), 2.5 ± 1.5 (95% CI 1.963–3.109), 2.7 ± 1.4 (95% CI 2.157–3.271), 3.1 ± 1.6 (95% CI 2.457–3.686), and 3.1 ± 1.6 (95% CI 2.471–3.743) at 1 week and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively, respectively ( P < 0.05). Twenty-two (78.6%), 21 (75.0%), 20 (71.4%), 19 (67.9%), and 18 (64.3%) of the patients expressed significant pain relief at 1 week and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively, respectively. 24 (85.7%), 23 (82.1%), 23 (82.1%), and 22 (78.6%) reported significant reduction in pain medication intake at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively, respectively. According to the Modified MacNab criteria, the numbers of patients with “excellent” or “good” ratings were 22 (78.6%), 21 (75.0%), 20 (71.4%), and 18 (64.3%) at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively, respectively. No serious complications were observed.

          The findings of this study showed that coblation is an effective, safe, minimally invasive, and less uncomfortable procedure for the treatment of discogenic upper back pain.

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          Most cited references 28

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          15. Discogenic low back pain.

          An estimated 40% of chronic lumbosacral spinal pain is attributed to the discus intervertebralis. Degenerative changes following loss of hydration of the nucleus pulposus lead to circumferential or radial tears within the annulus fibrosus. Annular tears within the outer annulus stimulate the ingrowth of blood vessels and accompanying nociceptors into the outer and occasionally inner annulus. Sensitization of these nociceptors by various inflammatory repair mechanisms may lead to chronic discogenic pain. The current criterion standard for diagnosing discogenic pain is pressure-controlled provocative discography using strict criteria and at least one negative control level. The strictness of criteria and the adherence to technical detail will allow an acceptable low false positive response rate. The most important determinants are the standardization of pressure stimulus by using a validated pressure monitoring device and avoiding overly high dynamic pressures by the slow injection rate of 0.05 mL/s. A positive discogram requires the reproduction of the patient's typical pain at an intensity of > 6/10 at a pressure of < 15 psi above opening pressure and at a volume less than 3.0 mL. Perhaps the most important and defendable response is the failure to confirm the discus is symptomatic by not meeting this strict criteria. Various interventional treatment strategies for chronic discogenic low back pain unresponsive to conservative care include reduction of inflammation, ablation of intradiscal nociceptors, lowering intranuclear pressure, removal of herniated nucleus, and radiofrequency ablation of the nociceptors. Unfortunately, most of these strategies do not meet the minimal criteria for a positive treatment advice. In particular, single-needle radiofrequency thermocoagulation of the discus is not recommended for patients with discogenic pain (2 B-). Interestingly, a little used procedure, radiofrequency ablation of the ramus communicans, does meet the (2 B+) level for endorsement. There is currently insufficient proof to recommend intradiscal electrothermal therapy (2 B±) and intradiscal biacuplasty (0). It is advised that ozone discolysis, nucleoplasty, and targeted disc decompression should only be performed as part of a study protocol. Future studies should include more strict inclusion criteria. © 2010 The Authors. Pain Practice © 2010 World Institute of Pain.
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            Efficacy and safety of a single botulinum type A toxin complex treatment (Dysport) for the relief of upper back myofascial pain syndrome: results from a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled multicentre study.

            Botulinum type A toxin (BoNT-A) has antinociceptive and muscle-relaxant properties and may help relieve the symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome. In this study we evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of BoNT-A (Dysport) in patients with myofascial pain syndrome of the upper back. We conducted a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 12-week, multicentre study. Patients with moderate-to-severe myofascial pain syndrome affecting cervical and/or shoulder muscles (10 trigger points, disease duration 6-24 months) were randomized to Dysport or saline. Injections were made into the 10 most tender trigger points (40 units per site). The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with mild or no pain at week 5. Secondary outcomes included changes in pain intensity and the number of pain-free days per week. Tolerability and safety were also assessed. At week 5, significantly more patients in the Dysport group reported mild or no pain (51%), compared with the patients in the placebo group (26%; p=0.002). Compared with placebo, Dysport resulted in a significantly greater change from baseline in pain intensity during weeks 5-8 (p<0.05), and significantly fewer days per week without pain between weeks 5 and 12 (p=0.036). Treatment was well tolerated, with most side effects resolving within 8 weeks. In conclusion, in patients with upper back myofascial pain syndrome, injections of 400 Ipsen units of Dysport at 10 individualised trigger points significantly improved pain levels 4-6 weeks after treatment. Injections were well tolerated.
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              Magnetic resonance imaging for diagnosing lumbar spinal pathology in adult patients with low back pain or sciatica: a diagnostic systematic review.

              In about 5% of all cases LBP is associated with serious underlying pathology requiring diagnostic confirmation and directed treatment. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often used for this diagnostic purpose yet its role remains controversial. Consequently, this review aimed to summarize the available evidence on the diagnostic accuracy of MRI for identifying lumbar spinal pathology in adult low back pain (LPB) or sciatica patients. MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL were searched (until December 2009) for observational studies assessing the diagnostic accuracy of MRI compared to a reference test for the identification of lumbar spinal pathology. Two reviewers independently selected studies for inclusion, extracted data and assessed methodological quality. Pooled summary estimates of sensitivity and specificity with 95% confidence intervals were calculated for homogenous subsets of studies. Eight studies were included in this review. Strata were defined for separate pathologies i.e. lumbar disc herniation (HNP) and spinal stenosis. Five studies comparing MRI to findings at the surgery for identifying HNP were included in a meta-analysis. Pooled analysis resulted in a summary estimate of sensitivity of 75% (95% CI 65-83%) and specificity of 77% (95% CI 61-88%). For spinal stenosis pooling was not possible. The results suggest that a considerable proportion of patients may be classified incorrectly by MRI for HNP and spinal stenosis. However, the evidence for the diagnostic accuracy of MRI found by this review is not conclusive, since the results could be distorted due to the limited number of studies and large heterogeneity.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Medicine (Baltimore)
                Medicine (Baltimore)
                MEDI
                Medicine
                Wolters Kluwer Health
                0025-7974
                1536-5964
                May 2015
                22 May 2015
                : 94
                : 20
                Affiliations
                From the Department of Pain Management, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Xicheng Zone, Beijing, China (LH, YT, XL, JN, LH); Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management, Daqing Oifield General Hospital, No.9 Zhongkang Street, Saertu District, Daqing, Heilongjiang, China (NL).
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Jiaxiang Ni, Department of Pain Management, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, No.45 Changchun Street, Xicheng Zone, Beijing, China (e-mail: nijiaxiang@ 123456263.net).
                Article
                00858
                10.1097/MD.0000000000000858
                4602856
                25997062
                Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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