Delphi-Based Expert Consensus Statements for the Management of Percutaneous Radiofrequency Neurotomy in the Treatment of Lumbar Facet Joint Syndrome
Introduction. A modified Delphi strategy was implemented for obtaining recommendations that could be useful in the management of percutaneous radiofrequency treatment of lumbar facet joint syndrome, as the literature on the argument was poor in quality.
Methods. An Italian research team conducted a comprehensive literature search, defined the investigation topics (diagnosis, treatment, and outcome evaluation), and developed an explorative semi-structured questionnaire. They also selected the members of the panel. After an online meeting with the participants, the board developed a structured questionnaire of 15 closed statements (round 1). A five-point Likert scale was used and the cut-off for consensus was established at a minimum of 70% of the number of respondents (level of agreement ≥ 4, agree or strongly agree). The statements without consensus were rephrased (round 2).
Results. Forty-one clinicians were included in the panel and responded in both rounds. After the first round, consensus (≥ 70%) was obtained in 9 out of 15 statements. In the second round, only one out of six statements reached the threshold. The lack of consensus was observed for statements concerning the use of imaging for a diagnosis [54%, median 4, interquartile range (IQR) 3–5], number of diagnostic blocks (37%, median 4, IQR 2–4), bilateral denervation (59%, median 4, IQR 2–4), technique and number of lesions (66%, median 4, IQR 3–5), and strategy after denervation failure (68%, median 4, IQR 3–4).
Conclusion. Results of the Delphi investigations suggest that there is a need to define standardized protocols to address this clinical problem. This step is essential for designing high-quality studies and filling current gaps in scientific evidence.
Occhigrossi, F., Carpenedo, R., Leoni, M.L.G. et al. Delphi-Based Expert Consensus Statements for the Management of Percutaneous Radiofrequency Neurotomy in the Treatment of Lumbar Facet Joint Syndrome. Pain Ther (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40122-023-00512-2