Lumbar facet joint injection: feasibility as an alternative method in high-risk patients.
Eur Radiol. 2013 Jun 12;
Authors: Hwang SY, Lee JW, Lee GY, Kang HS
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of therapeutic facet joint steroid injections for symptoms caused by lumbar spinal stenosis in patients who are at risk of bleeding. METHODS: We analysed 134 patients who had previously undergone one-level bilateral facet joint steroid injections for lumbar radiculopathy caused by spinal stenosis from January 2011 to December 2012. All patients had a bleeding tendency due to several medical conditions. A retrospective chart review was conducted by one radiologist. Response was measured by using a five-point patient satisfaction scale. Evaluations of the relationship between possible outcome predictors were made using the chi-squared or Fisher’s exact test, as appropriate. RESULTS: Among the 42 enrolled patients (male/female?=?14/28; mean age, 58 years; range, 41-88 years), 25 patients (59.5 %) were classified to have received effective treatment; in 17 patients treatment was classified as ineffective. Eighteen (72 %) of the 25 patients with mild-to-moderate central canal stenosis had symptom relief, and 7 of the 17 (41.2 %) patients with severe central canal stenosis had symptom relief (P?<?0.05). Other outcome predictors were not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: Therapeutic facet joint steroid injection is potentially effective for lumbar radiculopathy caused by spinal stenosis. This could be helpful in patients at risk of bleeding. KEY POINTS: • Epidural injection of steroids is a conventional treatment for lumbar radiculopathy. • Facet joint steroid injections showed similar therapeutic effects in lumbar spinal stenosis. • No serious complications, including bleeding, occurred with facet joint injections. • Facet joint steroid injection offers an alternative therapy in patients with bleeding risk.
PMID: 23756957 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]