Effectiveness of caudal epidural injections in discogram positive and negative chronic low back pain.
Pain Physician. 2002 Jan;5(1):18-29
Authors: Manchikanti L, Singh V, Rivera JJ, Pampati V, Beyer C, Damron K, Barnhill RC
Epidural steroid injections are the most commonly used procedures to manage chronic low back pain in interventional pain management settings. The overall effectiveness of epidural steroid injections has been highly variable, and in the role has not been evaluated in patients discographically evaluated. One hundred consecutive patients, without evidence of disc herniation or radiculitis, who had failed to respond to conservative management with physical therapy, chiropractic and/or medical therapy, underwent discography utilizing strict criteria of concordant pain, and negative adjacent discs, after being judged to be negative for facet joint and/or sacroiliac joint pain utilizing comparative local anesthetic blocks. Any other type of response was considered negative. This study included 62 patients, who underwent caudal epidural steroid injections with Sarapin. They included Group I, comprised of 45 of 55 patients negative on provocative discography; and Group II, with 17 of 45 patients with positive provocative discography. Results showed that there was significant improvement in patients receiving caudal epidural injections, with a decrease in pain associated with improved physical, functional, and mental status; decreased narcotic intake, and increased return to work. The study showed that at 1 month, 100% of the patients evaluated showed significant improvement in both groups; this declined to 86% at 3 months in Group I, but remained at 100% in Group II, declining to 60% and 64% at 6 months in Group I and Group II, respectfully, with administration of one to three injections. Analysis with one to three injections, which included all (62) patients showed significant relief in 71% and 65% of the patients at 1 month, in 67% and 65% at 3 months, and in 47% and 41% at 6 months, in Group I and Group II, respectively. In conclusion, caudal epidural injections with or without steroids is an effective modality of treatment in managing chronic, persistent low back pain failing to respond to conservative modalities of treatments, in patients negative for facet joint and sacroiliac joint pain, whether positive or negative, on evaluation with provocative discography.
PMID: 16896354 [PubMed]