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      Assessment of effectiveness of percutaneous adhesiolysis and caudal epidural injections in managing post lumbar surgery syndrome: 2-year follow-up of a randomized, controlled trial

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          The literature is replete with evaluations of failed surgery, illustrating a 9.5%–25% reoperation rate. Speculated causes of post lumbar surgery syndrome include epidural fibrosis, acquired stenosis, recurrent disc herniation, sacroiliac joint pain, and facet joint pain among other causes.


          Patients (n = 120) were randomly assigned to two groups with a 2-year follow-up. Group I (control group, n = 60) received caudal epidural injections with catheterization up to S3 with local anesthetic (lidocaine 2%, 5 mL), nonparticulate betamethasone (6 mg, 1 mL), and 6 mL of 0.9% sodium chloride solution. Group II (intervention group, n = 60) received percutaneous adhesiolysis of the targeted area, with targeted delivery of lidocaine 2% (5 mL), 10% hypertonic sodium chloride solution (6 mL), and nonparticulate betamethasone (6 mg). The multiple outcome measures included the Numeric Rating Scale, the Oswestry Disability Index 2.0, employment status, and opioid intake with assessments at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months posttreatment. Primary outcome was defined as 50% improvement in pain and Oswestry Disability Index scores.


          Significant improvement with at least 50% relief with pain and improvement in functional status was illustrated in 82% of patients at the 2-year follow-up in the intervention group compared to 5% in the control group receiving caudal epidural injections. The average number of procedures over a period of 2 years in Group II was 6.4 ± 2.35 with overall total relief of approximately 78 weeks out of 104 weeks.


          The results of this study show significant improvement in 82% of patients over a period of 2 years with an average of six to seven procedures of 1-day percutaneous adhesiolysis in patients with failed back surgery syndrome.

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          Epidural corticosteroid injections for sciatica due to herniated nucleus pulposus.

          Although epidural corticosteroid injections are commonly used for sciatica, their efficacy has not been established. In a randomized, double-blind trial, we administered up to three epidural injections of methylprednisolone acetate (80 mg in 8 ml of isotonic saline) or isotonic saline (1 ml) to 158 patients with sciatica due to a herniated nucleus pulposus. All patients had Oswestry disability scores higher than 20 (on a scale of 1 to 100, with scores of 20 or less indicating minimal disability, and higher scores greater disability). At three weeks, the Oswestry score had improved by a mean of -8.0 in the methylprednisolone group and -5.5 in the placebo group (95 percent confidence interval for the difference, -7.1 to 2.2). Differences in improvements between the groups were not significant, except for improvements in the finger-to-floor distance (P=0.006) and sensory deficits (P=0.03), which were greater in the methylprednisolone group. After six weeks, the only significant difference was the improvement in leg pain, which was greater in the methylprednisolone group (P=0.03). After three months, there were no significant differences between the groups. The Oswestry score had improved by a mean of -17.3 in the methylprednisolone group and -15.4 in the placebo group (95 percent confidence interval for the difference, -9.3 to 5.4). At 12 months, the cumulative probability of back surgery was 25.8 percent in the methylprednisolone group and 24.8 percent in the placebo group (P=0.90). Although epidural injections of methylprednisolone may afford short-term improvement in leg pain and sensory deficits in patients with sciatica due to a herniated nucleus pulposus, this treatment offers no significant functional benefit, nor does it reduce the need for surgery.
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            Comprehensive evidence-based guidelines for interventional techniques in the management of chronic spinal pain.

            Comprehensive, evidence-based guidelines for interventional techniques in the management of chronic spinal pain are described here to provide recommendations for clinicians. To develop evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for interventional techniques in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic spinal pain. Systematic assessment of the literature. Strength of evidence was assessed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) criteria utilizing 5 levels of evidence ranging from Level I to III with 3 subcategories in Level II. Short-term pain relief was defined as relief lasting at least 6 months and long-term relief was defined as longer than 6 months, except for intradiscal therapies, mechanical disc decompression, spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal infusion systems, wherein up to one year relief was considered as short-term. The indicated evidence for accuracy of diagnostic facet joint nerve blocks is Level I or II-1 in the diagnosis of lumbar, thoracic, and cervical facet joint pain. The evidence for lumbar and cervical provocation discography and sacroiliac joint injections is Level II-2, whereas it is Level II-3 for thoracic provocation discography. The indicated evidence for therapeutic interventions is Level I for caudal epidural steroid injections in managing disc herniation or radiculitis, and discogenic pain without disc herniation or radiculitis. The evidence is Level I or II-1 for percutaneous adhesiolysis in management of pain secondary to post-lumbar surgery syndrome. The evidence is Level II-1 or II-2 for therapeutic cervical, thoracic, and lumbar facet joint nerve blocks; for caudal epidural injections in managing pain of post-lumbar surgery syndrome, and lumbar spinal stenosis, for cervical interlaminar epidural injections in managing cervical pain (Level II-1); for lumbar transforaminal epidural injections; and spinal cord stimulation for post-lumbar surgery syndrome. The indicated evidence for intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET), mechanical disc decompression with automated percutaneous lumbar discectomy (APLD), and percutaneous lumbar laser discectomy (PLDD) is Level II-2. The limitations of these guidelines include a continued paucity of the literature, lack of updates, and conflicts in preparation of systematic reviews and guidelines by various organizations. The indicated evidence for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions is variable from Level I to III. These guidelines include the evaluation of evidence for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in managing chronic spinal pain and recommendations for managing spinal pain. However, these guidelines do not constitute inflexible treatment recommendations. Further, these guidelines also do not represent "standard of care."
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              Anti-inflammatory properties of local anesthetics and their present and potential clinical implications.

              Development of new local anesthetic agents has been focused on the potency of their nerve-blocking effects, duration of action and safety and has resulted in a substantial number of agents in clinical use. It is well established and well documented that the nerve blocking effects of local anesthetics are secondary to their interaction with the Na+ channels thereby blocking nerve membrane excitability and the generation of action potentials. Accumulating data suggest however that local anesthetics also possess a wide range of anti-inflammatory actions through their effects on cells of the immune system, as well as on other cells, e.g. microorganisms, thrombocytes and erythrocytes. The potent anti-inflammatory properties of local anesthetics, superior in several aspects to traditional anti-inflammatory agents of the NSAID and steroid groups and with fewer side-effects, has prompted clinicians to introduce them in the treatment of various inflammation-related conditions and diseases. They have proved successful in the treatment of burn injuries, interstitial cystitis, ulcerative proctitis, arthritis and herpes simplex infections. The detailed mechanisms of action are not fully understood but seem to involve a reversible interaction with membrane proteins and lipids thus regulating cell metabolic activity, migration, exocytosis and phagocytosis.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                20 December 2012
                : 5
                : 597-608
                [1 ]Pain Management Center of Paducah, Paducah, KY
                [2 ]Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
                [3 ]Pain Diagnostics Associates, Niagara, WI, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Laxmaiah Manchikanti, 2831 Lone Oak Road, Paducah, KY 42003, USA, Tel +1 270 554 8373 ext 101, Fax +1 270 554 8987, Email drlm@ 123456thepainmd.com
                © 2012 Manchikanti et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research


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