Jeffrey S. Fischgrund, Alfred Rhyne, Kevin Macadaeg, Gregory Moore, Evish Kamrava, Christopher Yeung, Eeric Truumees, Michael Schaufele, Philip Yuan, Michael DePalma, David Greg Anderson, Douglas Buxton, James Reynolds, Michael Sikorsky

August 2020, Volume 29, Issue 8, pp 1925 - 1934 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-020-06448-x

First Online: 25 May 2020

Long-term outcomes following intraosseous basivertebral nerve ablation for the treatment of chronic low back pain: 5-year treatment arm results from a prospective randomized double-blind sham-controlled multi-center study


Damaged or degenerated vertebral endplates are a significant cause of vertebrogenic chronic low back pain (CLBP). Modic changes are one objective MRI biomarker for these patients. Prior data from the treatment arm of a sham-controlled, RCT showed maintenance of clinical improvements at 2 years following ablation of the basivertebral nerve (BVN). This study reports 5-year clinical outcomes.


In total, 117 US patients were treated successfully with BVN ablation. Patient-reported outcomes of ODI, VAS, postablation treatments, and patient satisfaction were collected at a minimum of 5-years following BVN ablation. Primary outcome was mean change in ODI. Comparisons between the postablation and baseline values were made using an analysis of covariance with alpha 0.05.


Of the 117 US treated patients 100 (85%) were available for review with a mean follow-up of 6.4 years (5.4–7.8 years). Mean ODI score improved from 42.81 to 16.86 at 5-year follow-up, a reduction of 25.95 points (p  50% reduction in pain, 47% reported a > 75% reduction in pain, and 34% of patients reported complete pain resolution. Composite responder rate using thresholds of ≥ 15-point ODI and ≥ 2-point VAS for function and pain at 5 years was 75%.


CLBP patients treated with BVN ablation exhibit sustained clinical improvements in function and pain with high responder rates at a mean of 6.4 years following treatment. BVN ablation is a durable, minimally invasive treatment for vertebrogenic CLBP.

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