Association between Opioid Use and Patient-Reported Outcomes in a Randomized Trial Evaluating Basivertebral Nerve Ablation for the Relief of Chronic Low Back Pain

John D. Markman*, Alfred L. Rhyne, Rick C. Sasso, Alpesh A. Patel, Wellington K. Hsu, Jeffrey S. Fischgrund, Avram A. Edidin, Peter Vajkoczy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a primary indication for opioid therapy. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the hypothesis that CLBP patients reporting reduced opioid use have superior functional outcomes following basivertebral nerve (BVN) radiofrequency ablation. METHODS: This post hoc analysis from a sham-controlled trial examined short-acting opioid use from baseline through 1 yr. Opioid use was stratified into 3 groups by two blinded external reviewers. Two-sample t-tests were used to compare Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) measurements between those patients who increased or decreased their opioid usage compared to baseline. RESULTS: Actively treated patients with decreased opioid use at 12 mo had a mean ODI improvement of 24.9 ± 16.0 (n = 27) compared to 7.3 ± 9.8 (n = 18) for patients reporting increased opioid use (P <. 001). In the sham arm, the improvements in ODI were 17.4 ± 16.1 (n = 19) and 1.2 ± 14.3 (n = 5; P =. 053) for the patients reporting decreased vs increased opioid usage, respectively. Actively treated patients reporting decreased opioid use had a mean improvement in VAS of 3.3 ± 2.5 (n = 27) compared to 0.6 ± 1.8 (n = 18) for patients reporting increased opioid use (P <. 001). In the sham arm, the improvements in VAS were 2.5 ± 2.6 (n = 19) and 1.4 ± 1.9 (n = 5; P =. 374) for patients reporting decreased vs increased opioid use, respectively. CONCLUSION: Subjects undergoing BVN ablation who decreased opioid use had greater improvement in ODI and VAS scores compared with those reporting increased opioid usage. There is an association between functional benefit from BVN ablation and reduced opioid use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-347
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Neurosurgery
Volume86
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Keywords

  • Basivertebral nerve
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Opioids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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