Patients with spinal stenosis (SS) experienced good short-term benefit, lasting from weeks to months, after receiving epidural steroid injections (ESI), according to a study published in the journal Pain Medicine.
The study findings contradict a previously published study, published in 2014 in the New England Journal Medicine (NEJM), which found epidural steroid injections were not helpful in spinal stenosis cases.
Anthony K. Savino, MD, Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues performed a retrospective case series, using multiple methods of injections and various steroid choices and found specific epidural steroid injections to be very affective.
“The 2014 NEJM study on lumbar epidural steroids for spinal stenosis pain allowed for extreme variability in injection method and steroid type,” said Dr. Savino. “We feel that interlaminar injection, at the worst stenosis level, with long acting steroid is very helpful for spinal stenosis pain, and our case series supports this. Doing injections the way we propose will help with spinal stenosis pain, making walking easier/better and may help some patients avoid surgery.”
As there are few non-surgical options for lumbar spinal stenosis the authors suggest future large scale trials be designed using interlaminal injection at the worst SS level with long acting steroids, variable physician preference, as prior studies.
SOURCE: Boston University Medical Center