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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 121-123

Percutaneous radio frequency ablation for relief of pain in a patient of hip joint avascular necrosis

1 Consultant Pain Physicians, Pushp Hospital, Pushp Spine and Pain Clinic, Nashik, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Chennai Medical College and Research Center, Trichirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Prasad Kasliwal
Pushp Hospital' Pushp Spine and Pain Clinic, B/H Satyam Sweets, Chowk No. 2, Govind Nagar, Nashik - 422 009, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-5333.132855

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Avascular osteonecrosis (AVN) of the femoral head is one of the most common skeletal complications of kidney transplantation. Patients with hip joint avascular necrosis usually undergo joint arthroplasty. However, if a patient is unfit for surgery due to some comorbidities, hip joint articular branches denervation can be done to control pain and improve functional life. There is a large variation in the contribution as well in the position of the articular branches to hip joint by obturator, femoral, and sciatic nerves. Several authors have proposed percutaneous radio frequency denervation of the hip joint to eliminate pain.In our case, the patient was having an intractable hip joint pain which was not responding to conservative drug therapy as well physiotherapy. In our patient, hip arthroplasty was contraindicated because of the high risk of infection and anticoagulants. After diagnostic block, the pain in his groin and hip disappeared immediately. The patient noted a decrease in pain (Visual Analog Scale, VAS 9-10 to 1-2) and an improvement in the ability to walk. Then we performed percutaneous radio frequency ablation of the articular branches of the obturator nerve and the femoral nerve. Nerve blocks were performed via a combined approach using fluoroscopy and nerve stimulation to identify the obturator nerve. Because optimal coagulation requires electrodes to lie parallel to the nerves, a perpendicular approach probably produced only a minimal lesion. A perpendicular approach is likely to puncture femoral vessels. Vessel puncture can be avoided if an oblique pass is used. The patient had improved ability to ambulate and the patient can carry out his daily routine activites at home without much pain and can sleep comfortably. There were no complications like motor deficit, neuritis, bleeding, or infection. Our case report gives few impressions. First, it shows that if radio contrast agent (omnipaque dye) use is restricted or contraindicated, a combined approach using fluoroscopy and nerve stimulation to identify the obturator nerve and articular branch of femoral nerve. Second, it confirms the radiological anatomy of articular branches of hip joint. Third, oblique approach is safe and gives optimum lesion.

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