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The effectiveness of endoscopic epidurolysis in treatment of degenerative chronic low back pain: a prospective analysis and follow-up at 48 months

The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the efficacy of endoscopic epidurolysis in the treatment of degenerative chronic low back pain.Two hundred and thirty four patients affected by chronic low back pain, with VAS >/= 5 and Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Index (ODI) from 0 to 60% (0-20%, group A; 20-40%, group B; 40-60%, group C) were enrolled and treated prospectively with endoscopic epidurolysis by means of a flexible fiberoptic endoscope introduced into the caudal epidural space and by the intermittent instillation of saline solution added with 150 UI hyaluronidase. Targeted application of ozone (8 ml; 38 gamma/ml) and 50 mg ciprofloxacin close to the abnormal areas was also performed. Short and long term efficacy (1 week, 3 months, 6, 12, 24, 36 and 48 months) was prospectively evaluated. VAS score <5 and ODI <40% were considered as a positive outcome.The treatment significantly reduced VAS score in all three groups of patients starting from the first week and throughout the entire follow-up period (P < 0.001). Disability Index (ODI) too showed encouraging results (P < 0.001) that was particularly evident at 3 months and maintained up to long-term follow-up intervals.Epiduroscopy by mechanical adhesiolysis and administration on targeted areas of ciprofloxacin and ozone seems to be, in this prospective study, an effective technique to provide a sensible and persisting pain relief and act of improving ODI in chronic low back pain

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