Rule 17, exhibit 9 Chronic Pain Disorder Medical Treatment Guidelines Revised: December 27, 2011 Effective: February 14, 2012



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a. Return-to-work or maintaining work status.

b. Fewer restrictions at work or performing activities of daily living.

c. Decrease in usage of medications prescribed for the work-related injury.

d. Measurable functional gains, such as increased range of motion or a documented increase in strength.

Education of the patient should include the proposed goals of the surgery, expected gains, risks or complications, and alternative treatment.

Smoking may affect soft tissue healing through tissue hypoxia. Patients should be strongly encouraged to stop smoking and be provided with appropriate counseling by the physician. If a treating physician recommends a specific smoking cessation program peri-operatively, this should be covered by the insurer. Physicians may monitor smoking cessation with laboratory tests such as cotinine levels. The surgeon will make the final determination as to whether smoking cessation is required prior to surgery.

Prior to surgical intervention, the patient and treating physician should identify functional operative goals and the likelihood of achieving improved ability to perform activities of daily living or work activities and the patient should agree to comply with the pre- and post-operative treatment plan including home exercise. The provider should be especially careful to make sure the patient understands the amount of post-operative therapy required and the length of partial- and full-disability expected post-operatively.



    1. NEUROSTIMULATION

Description: Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is the delivery of low-voltage electrical stimulation to the spinal cord or peripheral nerves to inhibit or block the sensation of pain. The system uses implanted electrical leads and a battery powered implanted pulse generator.

There is some evidence that SCS is superior to reoperation in setting of persistent radicular pain after lumbosacral spine surgery (North R 2005), and there is some evidence that SCS is superior to conventional medical management in the same setting (Kumar K 2008). Success was defined as achieving 50% or more pain relief (North R 2005; Kumar K 2008). Some functional gains have been demonstrated (Kemler M 2000; Kumar K 2007; Barolat G 1998, 2001; Frey M 2009). These findings may persist at three years of follow-up in patients who had an excellent initial response and who are highly motivated.

It is particularly important that patients meet all of the indications before a permanent neurostimulator is placed because several studies have shown that workers’ compensation patients are less likely to gain significant relief than other patients (Hollingworth, 2011). As of the time of this guideline writing, spinal cord stimulation devices have been FDA approved as an aid to in the management of chronic intractable pain of the trunk and/or limbs, including unilateral and bilateral pain associated with the following: failed back surgery syndrome, intractable low back pain and leg pain.

Some evidence shows that SCS is superior to re-operation and conventional medical management for severely disabled patients who have failed conventional treatment and have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS I) or failed back surgery with persistent radicular neuropathic pain (Kemler 2000; North 2005, Kumar 2008).

While there is no evidence demonstrating effectiveness for use of SCS with CRPS II, it is generally accepted that SCS can be used for patients who have this condition. There is no evidence that supports its use for spinal axial pain. SCS may be most effective in patients with CRPS I or II who have not achieved relief with oral medications, rehabilitation therapy, or therapeutic nerve blocks, and in whom the pain has persisted for longer than 6 months (Kemler M 2000; North R 2005; Kumar K 2008; Barolat G 1998, 2001; Frey M 2009).

Particular technical expertise is required to perform this procedure and is available in some neurosurgical, rehabilitation, and anesthesiology training programs and fellowships. Physicians performing this procedure must be trained in neurostimulation implantation and participate in ongoing training workshops on this subject, such as those sponsored by the International Spine Intervention Society (ISIS) or as sponsored by implant manufacturers. Surgical procedures should be performed by surgeons, usually with a neurosurgical or spinal background.



Complications: Serious, less common complications include spinal cord compression, paraplegia, epidural hematoma, epidural hemorrhage, undesirable change in stimulation, seroma, CSF leakage, infection, erosion, and allergic response. Otherr complications consist of dural puncture, hardware malfunction or equipment migration, pain at implantation site, loss of pain relief, chest wall stimulation, and other surgical risks. In recent studies device complication rates have been reported to be 25% at 6 months (Kemler M 2000), 32% at 12 months (Kumar K 2007), and 45% at 24 months (Kumar K 2008). The most frequent complications are reported to be electrode migration (14%) and loss of paresthesia (12%) (Kemler 2000; North 2005, Kumar 2008).

Surgical Indications: Patients with established CRPS I or II or a failed spinal surgery with persistent functionally limiting radicular pain greater than axial pain who have failed conservative therapy including active and/or passive therapy, pre-stimulator trial psychiatric evaluation and treatment, medication management, and therapeutic injections. SCS is not recommended for patients with the major limiting factor of persistent axial spine pain. SCS may be indicated in a subset of patients who have a clear neuropathic radicular pain (radiculitis). The extremity pain should account for at least 50% or greater of the overall back and leg pain experienced by the patient. Prior authorization is required. Habituation to opioid analgesics in the absence of a history of addictive behavior does not preclude the use of SCS. Patients with severe psychiatric disorders, and issues of secondary gain are not candidates for the procedure (Kemler M 2000). Approximately, one third to one half of patients who qualify for SCS can expect a substantial reduction in pain relief; however, it may not influence allodynia, and hypesthesia (North R 2005; Kemler M 2008; Barolat G 1998, 2001; Frey M 2009). Patients’ expectations need to be realistic, and therefore, patients should understand that the SCS intervention is not a cure for their pain but rather a masking of their symptomatology which might regress over time. There appears to be a likely benefit of up to 3 years (Kemler M 2008). Patients must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for neurostimulation:

SCS may be indicated in a subset of patients who have a clear neuropathic radicular pain (radiculitis); are not candidates for surgical intervention on the spine; have burning pain in a distribution amenable to stimulation coverage and have pain at night not relieved by position. The extremity pain should account for at least 50% or greater of the overall leg and back pain experienced by the patient. In cases of complex regional pain syndrome, please refer to the CRPS Medical Treatment Guidelines.

A comprehensive psychiatric or psychological evaluation prior to the stimulator trial has been performed. This evaluation should include a standardized detailed personality inventory with validity scales (such as MMPI-2, MMPI-2-RF, or PAI) pain inventory with validity measures (for example, BHI 2, MBMD); clinical interview and complete review of the medical records. Before proceeding to a spinal stimulator trial the evaluation should find the following:


  • No indication of falsifying information, or of invalid response on testing; and

  • No primary psychiatric risk factors or “red flags” (e.g. psychosis, active suicidality, severe depression, or addiction) (Kemler M 2000; Bruns and Disorbio 2009). (Note that tolerance and dependence to opioid analgesics are not addictive behaviors and do not preclude implantation); and

  • A level of secondary risk actors or “yellow flags” (e.g. moderate depression, job dissatisfaction, dysfunctional pain conditions) judged to be below the threshold for compromising the patient’s ability to benefit from neurostimulation (den Boer, et al, 2006; Bruns and Disorbio, 2009; Rosenberger et al. 2006; Block, et al 2001).

  • The patient is cognitively capable of understanding and operating the neurostimulation control device; and

  • The patient is cognitively capable of understanding and appreciating the risks and benefits of the procedure and

  • The patient has demonstrated a history of motivation in and adherence to prescribed treatments.

The psychologist or psychiatrist performing these evaluations should not be an employee of the physician performing the implantation. This evaluation must be completed, with favorable findings, before the screening trial is scheduled. Significant personality disorders must be taken into account when considering a patient for spinal cord stimulation and other major procedures.

All reasonable surgical and non-surgical treatment has been exhausted; and

The topography of pain and its underlying pathophysiology are amenable to stimulation coverage (the entire painful extremity area has been covered); and

A successful neurostimulation screening test of at least 3 to 7 days (North R 2005; Kemler M 2000, 2008).

For a spinal cord neurostimulation screening test, a temporary lead is implanted at the level of pain and attached to an external source to validate therapy effectiveness. A screening test is considered successful if the patient meets both of the following criteria: (a) experiences a 50% decrease radicular or CRPS in pain, which may be confirmed by visual analogue scale (VAS) or Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) (Kemler M 2000; North R 2005; Kumar K 2007), and (b) demonstrates objective functional gains or decreased utilization of pain medications (Kemler M 2000; North R 2005; Kumar K 2007). Objective, measurable, functional gains should be evaluated by an occupational therapist and/or physical therapist and the primary treating physician prior to and before discontinuation of the trial.

Contraindications:


  • Unsuccessful SCS test – inability to obtain objective, documented, functional improvement or reduction of pain.

  • Those with cardiac pacemakers should be evaluated on an individual basis as some may qualify for surgery (Ooi YC 2011).

  • Patient who are unable to properly operate the system.

  • Patients who are anti-coagulated and cannot be without anticoagulation for a few days (e.g. patients with artificial heart valves).

  • Patients with frequent severe infections.

  • Patients for whom a future MRI of a body part below the head is planned. MRI of the head is permissible with some manufacturers.

Operative Treatment: Implantation of stimulating leads connected by extensions to either an implanted neurostimulator or an implanted receiver powered by an external transmitter. The procedure may be performed either as an open or a percutaneous procedure, depending on the presence of epidural fibrosis and the anatomical placement required for optimal efficacy. During the final procedure the patient must be awakened to establish full coverage from the placement of the lead. One of the most common failures is misplaced leads. Functional improvement is anticipated for up to 3 years or longer when objective functional improvement has been observed during the time of neurostimulation screening exam (Kemler M 2008).

Post-operative Considerations: MRI is contraindicated after placement of neurostimulators except for cranial imaging with some models.

Post-operative Therapy: Active and/or passive therapy should be employed to improve function. Implantable stimulators will require frequent monitoring such as adjustment of the unit and replacement of batteries. Estimated battery life of SCS implantable devices is usually 5 – 10 years depending on the manufacturer (Kemler M 2008).

PERIPHERAL NERVE STIMULATION



There are no randomized controlled studies for this treatment. This modality should only be employed with a clear nerve injury or when the majority of pain is clearly in a nerve distribution in patients who have completed 6 months of other appropriate therapy including pre-trial psychosocial evaluation and treatment. A screening trial should take place over 3 to 7 days and is considered successful if the patient meets both of the following criteria: (a) experiences a 50% decrease in pain, which may be confirmed by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) or Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) and (b) demonstrates objective functional gains or decreased utilization of pain medications. Objective, measurable, functional gains should be evaluated by an occupational therapist and/or physical therapist and the primary treating physician prior to and before discontinuation of the trial. It may be used for proven occipital, ulnar, median and other isolated nerve injuries (Van Calenbergh F 2009; Mekhail N 2010; Cruccu G 2007; Frey M 2009).

INTRATHECAL DRUG DELIVERY Not generally recommended. Requires prior authorization. Due to conflicting studies in this population and complication rate for long-term use, it may be considered only in very rare occasions when dystonia and spasticity are dominant features or when pain is not able to be managed using any other non-operative treatment. Specific brands of infusion systems have been FDA approved for the following: chronic intraspinal (epidural and intrathecal) infusion of preservative-free morphine sulfate sterile solution in the treatment of chronic intractable pain, chronic infusion of preservative-free ziconotide sterile solution for the management of severe chronic pain, and chronic intrathecal infusion of baclofen for the management of severe spasticity.

Description: This mode of therapy delivers small doses of medications directly into the cerebrospinal fluid.

Complications: Intrathecal delivery is associated with significant complications, such as infection, catheter disconnects, CSF leak, arachnoiditis, pump failure, nerve injury, and paralysis.

Typical adverse events reported with opioids (ie, respiratory depression, tolerance, and dependence), or spinal catheter-tip granulomas that might arise during intrathecal morphine or hydromorphone treatment have not currently been recorded for ziconotide. The most common presentation of an intraspinal mass is a sudden increase in dosage required for pain relief, with new neurologic defects secondary to a mass effect (Miele 2006). Technical errors can lead to drug overdose which can be life-threatening (Johnson 2011).

Surveys have shown technical problems requiring surgical correction in 18% to 40% of patients (Gerber 2003, Turner 2007). CSF leakage may occur with multiple dural punctures. Since the needle is larger than the spinal catheter, there may be incomplete tissue sealing around the catheter (Gerber 2003). The function of the pump depends on its electronic power source, which may be disrupted by the magnet of an MRI; therefore, after the patient has an MRI, the pump should be checked to ensure that it does not need to be restarted (Staats 2008). The delivery rate can be affected by atmospheric pressure and body temperature (Ghafoor, 2007).

Indications: Clinical studies are conflicting, regarding long-term, effective pain relief in patients with non-malignant pain. The Division does not generally recommend the use of intrathecal drug delivery systems in injured workers with chronic pain. Due to the complication rate for long-term use, it may be considered only in very rare occasions when dystonia and spasticity are dominant features or when pain is not able to be managed using any other non-operative treatment. This treatment must be prior authorized and have the recommendation of at least one physician experienced in chronic pain management in consultation with the primary treating physician. The procedure should be performed by physicians with documented experience. This small eligible sub-group of patients must meet all of the following indications:

A diagnosis of a specific physical condition known to be chronically painful has been made on the basis of objective findings; and

All reasonable surgical and non-surgical treatment has been exhausted including failure of conservative therapy including active and/or passive therapy, medication management, or therapeutic injections; and

Pre-trial psychiatric or psychological evaluation has been performed (as for SCS) and has demonstrated motivation and long-term commitment without issues of secondary gain. Significant personality disorders must be taken into account when considering a patient for spinal cord stimulation and other major procedures; and

There is no evidence of current addictive behavior. (Tolerance and dependence to opioid analgesics are not addictive behaviors and do not preclude implantation); and

A successful trial of continuous infusion by a percutaneous spinal infusion pump for a minimum of 24 hours. A screening test is considered successful if the patient (a) experiences a 50% decrease in pain, which may be confirmed by VAS, and (b) demonstrates objective functional gains or decreased utilization of pain medications. Functional gains should be evaluated by an occupational therapist and/or physical therapist prior to and before discontinuation of the trial.



Contraindications: Infection, body size insufficient to support the size and weight of the implanted device. Patients with other implanted programmable devices should be given these pumps with caution since interference between devices may cause unintended changes in infusion rates.

NEUROABLATION WITH RHIZOTOMY AS THE EXCEPTION Neuroablation or neuro-destructive procedures are not commonly used in the management of non-malignant pain. These techniques require specific expertise to perform, have erratic results, and high rates of complication. Therefore, the Division does not recommend the use of neuroablative procedures, except rhizotomy, for injured workers with chronic pain.

DORSAL NERVE ROOT RESECTION This procedure is not recommended. There exists the possibility of complications including unintended extensive nerve damage causing significant motor or sensibility changes from larger than anticipated lesioning of the ganglia at the dorsal ganglia level (North R 1991). For radio-frequency ablation refer to Section F. Therapeutic Procedures, Non-operative, Dorsal Root Ganglion Radiofrequency Ablation.
MAINTENANCE MANAGEMENT

Successful management of chronic pain conditions results in fewer relapses requiring intense medical care. Failure to address long-term management as part of the overall treatment program may lead to higher costs and greater dependence on the health care system. Management of CPD continues after the patient has met the definition of maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is declared when a patient’s condition has plateaued and the authorized treating physician believes no further medical intervention is likely to result in improved function. When the patient has reached MMI, a physician must describe in detail the maintenance treatment.

Maintenance care in CPD requires a close working relationship between the carrier, the providers, and the patient. Providers and patients have an obligation to design a cost-effective, medically appropriate program that is predictable and allows the carrier to set aside appropriate reserves. Carriers and adjusters have an obligation to assure that medical providers can design medically appropriate programs. A designated primary physician for maintenance team management is recommended.

Maintenance care will be based on principles of patient self-management. When developing a maintenance plan of care, the patient, physician and insurer should attempt to meet the following goals:

a. Maximal independence will be achieved through the use of home exercise programs or exercise programs requiring special facilities (e.g., pool, health club) and educational programs;

b. Modalities will emphasize self-management and self-applied treatment;

c. Management of pain or injury exacerbations will emphasize initiation of active therapy techniques and may occasionally require anesthetic injection blocks.

d. Dependence on treatment provided by practitioners other than the authorized treating physician will be minimized;

e. Periodic reassessment of the patient’s condition will occur as appropriate;

f. Patients will understand that failure to comply with the elements of the self-management program or therapeutic plan of care may affect consideration of other interventions.



The following are Specific Maintenance Interventions and Parameters:

    1. HOME EXERCISE PROGRAMS AND EXERCISE EQUIPMENT Most patients have the ability to participate in a home exercise program after completion of a supervised exercise rehabilitation program. Programs should incorporate an exercise prescription including the continuation of an age-adjusted and diagnosis-specific program for aerobic conditioning, flexibility, stabilization, and strength. Some patients may benefit from the purchase or rental of equipment to maintain a home exercise program. Determination for the need of home equipment should be based on medical necessity to maintain MMI, compliance with an independent exercise program, and reasonable cost. Before the purchase or long-term rental of equipment, the patient should be able to demonstrate the proper use and effectiveness of the equipment. Effectiveness of equipment should be evaluated on its ability to improve or maintain functional areas related to activities of daily living or work activity. Home exercise programs are most effective when done 3 to 5 times a week. Prior to purchasing the equipment a therapist and/or exercise specialist who has treated the patient should visit a facility with the patient to assure proper use of the equipment. Occasionally, compliance evaluations may be made through a 4 week membership at a facility offering similar equipment.

EXERCISE PROGRAMS REQUIRING SPECIAL FACILITIES Some patients may have higher compliance with an independent exercise program at a health club versus participation in a home program. All exercise programs completed through a health club facility should focus on the same parameters of an age-adjusted and diagnosis-specific program for aerobic conditioning, flexibility, stabilization, and strength. Prior to purchasing a membership, a therapist and/or exercise specialist who has treated the patient should visit a facility with the patient to assure proper use of the equipment. Selection of health club facilities should be limited to those able to track attendance and utilization, and provide records available for physician and insurer review.

  • Frequency: 2 to 3 times per week

  • Maximum Maintenance Duration: 3 months. Continuation beyond 3 months should be based on functional benefit and patient compliance. Health club membership should not extend beyond 3 months if attendance drops below 2 times per week on a regular basis.

PATIENT EDUCATION MANAGEMENT Educational classes, sessions, or programs may be necessary to reinforce self-management techniques. This may be performed as formal or informal programs, either group or individual.

  • Maintenance Duration: 2 to 6 educational visits during one 12 month period.

PSYCHOLOGICAL MANAGEMENT An ideal maintenance program will emphasize management options implemented in the following order: (a) individual self-management (pain control, relaxation and stress management, etc.), (b) group counseling, (c) individual counseling by a psychologist or psychiatrist, and (d) inpatient treatment. Exacerbation of the injury may require psychological treatment to restore the patient to baseline. In those cases, use treatments and timeframe parameters listed in the Biofeedback and Psychological Evaluation or Intervention sections.

  • Maintenance Duration: 6 to 10 visits during the first year and 4 to 6 visits per year thereafter. In cases of significant exacerbation, refer to the psychological treatment section in Therapeutic Procedures, Non-operative, Section F.

NON OPIOID MEDICATION MANAGEMENT In some cases, self-management of pain and injury exacerbations can be handled with medications, such as those listed in the Medication section. Physicians must follow patients who are on any chronic medication or prescription regimen for efficacy and side effects. Laboratory or other testing may be appropriate to monitor medication effects on organ function.

  • Maintenance Duration: Usually, four medication reviews within a 12 month period. Frequency depends on the medications prescribed. Laboratory and other monitoring as appropriate.

OPIOID MEDICATION MANAGEMENT As compared with other painful conditions there may be a role for chronic augmentation of the maintenance program with opioid medications. In selected cases, scheduled medications may prove to be the most cost effective means of insuring the highest function and quality of life; however, inappropriate selection of these patients may result in a high degree of iatrogenic illness. A patient should have met the criteria in the opioids section of these guidelines before beginning maintenance opioids. Laboratory or other testing may be appropriate to monitor medication effects on organ function. The following management is suggested for maintenance opioids:

a. The medications should be clearly linked to improvement of function, not just pain control. All follow-up visits should document the patient’s ability to perform routine functions satisfactorily. Examples include the abilities to perform: work tasks, drive safely, pay bills or perform basic math operations, remain alert and upright for 10 hours per day, or participate in normal family and social activities. If the patient is not maintaining reasonable levels of activity the patient should usually be tapered from the opioid and tried on a different long-acting opioid.

b. A low dose opioid medication regimen should be defined, which may minimally increase or decrease over time. Dosages will need to be adjusted based on side effects of the medication and objective function of the patient. A patient may frequently be maintained on additional non-opioid medications to control side effects, treat mood disorders, or control neuropathic pain; however, only one long-acting opioid and one short-acting opioid for rescue use should be prescribed in most cases. Buccally absorbed opioids are not appropriate for these non-malignant pain patients. Transdermal medications are generally not recommended.

c. All patients on chronic opioid medication dosages need to sign an appropriate opioid contract with their physician for prescribing the opioids.

d. The patient must understand that continuation of the medication is contingent on their cooperation with the maintenance program. Use of non-prescribed drugs may result in tapering of the medication. The clinician should order random drug testing at least annually and when deemed appropriate to monitor medication compliance.

e. Patients on chronic opioid medication dosages must receive them through one prescribing physician.



  • Maintenance Duration: Up to 12 visits within a 12 month period to review the opioid plan. Laboratory and other monitoring as appropriate.

THERAPY MANAGEMENT Some treatment may be helpful on a continued basis during maintenance care if the therapy maintains objective function and decreases medication use. With good management, exacerbations should be uncommon; not exceeding two times per year and using minimal or no treatment modality beyond self-management. On occasion, exacerbated conditions may warrant durations of treatment beyond those listed below. Having specific goals with objectively measured functional improvement during treatment can support extended durations of care. It is recommended that if after 6 to 8 visits no treatment effect is observed, alternative treatment interventions should be pursued.

  • Active Therapy, Acupuncture, or Manipulation Maintenance Duration: 10 visits [for each treatment] during the first year and then decreased to 5 visits per year thereafter.

INJECTION THERAPY

Trigger Point Injections - These injections may occasionally be necessary to maintain function in those with myofascial problems.



  • Maintenance Duration: Not more than 4 injections per session not to exceed 4 sessions per 12 month period.

Epidural and Selective Nerve Root Injections - Patients who have experienced functional benefits from these injections in the past may require injection for exacerbations of the condition.

  • Maintenance Duration: 2 to 4 injections per 12 month period. For chronic radiculopathy, injections may be repeated only when a functional documented response lasts for 3 months. Patients should be reassessed after each injection session for an 80% improvement in pain (as measured by accepted pain scales) and evidence of functional improvement. A positive result would include a return to baseline function, return to increased work duties, and measurable improvement in physical activity goals including return to baseline after an exacerbation. Injections may only be repeated when these functional and time goals are met. Repeated injections with steroids should be done with caution especially in patients who have received other steroid injections or oral steroid therapy as higher yearly total doses of steroids may be associated with an increase in osteoarthritis (Felson D 1987).

Zygapophyseal (facet) injections -

  • Maintenance Duration: 2 injections per year and limited to 3 joint levels either unilaterally or bilaterally. Injections may be repeated only when a functional documented response lasts for 3 months. Patients should be reassessed after each injection session for an 80% improvement in pain (as measured by accepted pain scales) and evidence of functional improvement. A positive result would include a return to base line function, return to increased work duties, and a measurable improvement in physical activity goals including return to baseline after an exacerbation. Injections may only be repeated when these functional and time goals are met. Repeated injections with steroids should be done with caution especially in patients who have received other steroid injections or oral steroid therapy as higher yearly total doses of steroids may be associated with an increase in osteoarthritis (Felson D 1987).

Sacro-iliac Joint -

  • Maintenance Duration: 2 per year injections may be repeated only if when a functional documented response lasts for 3 months. Patients should be reassessed after each injection session for an 80% improvement in pain (as measured by accepted pain scales) and evidence of functional improvement. A positive result would include a return to base line function, return to increased work duties, and a measurable improvement in physical activity goals including return to baseline after an exacerbation. Injections may only be repeated when these functional and time goals are met. Repeated injections with steroids should be done with caution especially in patients who have received other steroid injections or oral steroid therapy as higher yearly total doses of steroids may be associated with an increase in osteoarthritis (Felson D 1987).

Radiofrequency Medical Branch Neurotomy/ Facet Rhizotomy

  • Maintenance Duration: 1 time per year up to 12 total-not exceeding 3 levels. The patient must meet the criteria as described in Section F. 5 b. The initial indications including repeat blocks and limitations apply. The long-term effects of repeat rhizotomies, especially on younger patients are unknown. There is a possibility that repeated denervation could result in premature degenerative changes. In addition the patient should always reconsider all of the possible permanent complications before consenting to a repeat procedure. There are no studies addressing the total number of RF neurotomies that should be done for a patient. Patient should receive at least 6 to 18 months minimum improvement in order to qualify for repeat procedures.

  • Optimum/Maximum duration twice in the first year after the initial rhizotomy and once a year after up to 12 total.

PURCHASE OR RENTAL OF DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT It is recognized that some patients may require ongoing use of self-directed modalities for the purpose of maintaining function and/or analgesic effect. Purchase or rental of modality based equipment should be done only if the assessment by the physician and/or therapist has determined the effectiveness, compliance, and improved or maintained function by its application. It is generally felt that large expense purchases such as spas, whirlpools, and special mattresses are not necessary to maintain function.

  • Maintenance Duration: Not to exceed 3 months for rental equipment.

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