Systematic Review of the Diagnostic Accuracy and Therapeutic Effectiveness of Sacroiliac Joint Interventions
BACKGROUND: The sacroiliac joint is well known as a cause of low back and lower extremity pain. Prevalence estimates are 10% to 25% in patients with persistent axial low back pain without disc herniation, discogenic pain, or radiculitis based on multiple diagnostic studies and systematic reviews. However, at present there are no definitive management options for treating sacroiliac joint pain. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy and therapeutic effectiveness of sacroiliac joint interventions. STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of the diagnostic accuracy and therapeutic effectiveness of sacroiliac joint interventions. METHODS: The available literature on diagnostic and therapeutic sacroiliac joint interventions was reviewed. The quality assessment criteria utilized were the Quality Appraisal of Reliability Studies (QAREL) checklist for diagnostic accuracy studies, Cochrane review criteria to assess sources of risk of bias, and Interventional Pain Management Techniques - Quality Appraisal of Reliability and Risk of Bias Assessment (IPM - QRB) criteria for randomized therapeutic trials and Interventional Pain Management Techniques - Quality Appraisal of Reliability and Risk of Bias Assessment for Nonrandomized Studies (IPM - QRBNR) for observational therapeutic assessments.The level of evidence was based on a best evidence synthesis with modified grading of qualitative evidence from Level I to Level V.Data sources included relevant literature published from 1966 through March 2015 that were identified through searches of PubMed and EMBASE, manual searches of the bibliographies of known primary and review articles, and all other sources. OUTCOME MEASURES: For the diagnostic accuracy assessment, and for the therapeutic modalities, the primary outcome measure of pain relief and improvement in functional status were utilized. RESULTS: A total of 11 diagnostic accuracy studies and 14 therapeutic studies were included. The evidence for diagnostic accuracy is Level II for dual diagnostic blocks with at least 70% pain relief as the criterion standard and Level III evidence for single diagnostic blocks with at least 75% pain relief as the criterion standard.The evidence for cooled radiofrequency neurotomy in managing sacroiliac joint pain is Level II to III. The evidence for conventional radiofrequency neurotomy, intraarticular steroid injections, and periarticular injections with steroids or botulinum toxin is limited: Level III or IV. LIMITATIONS: The limitations of this systematic review include inconsistencies in diagnostic accuracy studies with a paucity of high quality, replicative, and consistent literature. The limitations for therapeutic interventions include variations in technique, variable diagnostic standards for inclusion criteria, and variable results. CONCLUSION: The evidence for the accuracy of diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness of sacroiliac joint interventions varied from Level II to Level IV.
School of Medicine
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation