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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 37-40

Intercostal nerves pulsed radiofrequency for intractable neuralgia treatment in athletes with sport trauma of the chest: A case-series study

1 Anesthesiology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Orthopedics Surgery and Sports Medicine, Akhtar Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Sohrab Keyhani
Department of Orthopedics Surgery and Sports Medicine, Akhtar Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Fereshteh Street, Tehran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/atr.atr_26_17

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Background: Athletes with trauma to the chest could be injured and suffer from an acute disturbing chest wall pain due to intercostal neuralgia. Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) is an emerging safe therapy in many neurologic pain syndromes. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the effect of PRF on intercostal neuralgic pain in athletes complaining of severe chest pain and limited range of motion. Materials and Methods: This case-series study was conducted on athlete patients who suffered from severe chest pain that has limited their function. Eighteen athletes who were absent from physical training and sports activity due to intercostal neuralgia in their current season were admitted to our pain clinic. Intercostal nerve PRF was used to treat patients. Pain scale and return to sports activity were measured after PRF. Results: The mean time of absence from sports activity was 1.3 ± 0.6 weeks. The mean score of pain severity (numeric rating scale [NRS]) was 8.46 ± 1.85. In this study, 16 of 18 (88%) patients had effective pain relief (NRS <3) after PRF therapy. Besides, the NRS scores reduced by at least 90% in 16 of 18 (88%) patients as compared to the baseline. The mean NRS score was followed-up for 4 weeks. The scores significantly decreased at 1 (P = 0.001), 2 (P = 0.0015), and 4 (P = 0.0002) weeks following PRF compared to pre-PRF time. Conclusions: Pulsed radiofrequency is a suitable therapy for athletes with intercostal nerve entrapment pain, which provides adequate and quick pain relief, thus enabling them to resume their sport activities.

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