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      Comparison of the Oblique Interlaminar and Transforaminal Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections for Treatment of Low Back and Lumbosacral Radicular Pain

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          Transforaminal epidural steroid injections (TF-ESIs) effectively deliver small amounts of drugs to inflamed sites via the ventral epidural space. However, there is a high risk of nerve damage as the needle narrowly approaches the spinal nerve. Therefore, we devised an oblique interlaminar (OIL) approach as an alternative method. We compared the efficacy of fluoroscopic-guided OIL-ESIs with that of TF-ESIs in the management of lower back and unilateral lumbosacral radicular pain.

          Materials and Methods

          Sixty-six patients were randomized to receive a fluoroscopic-guided ESI either through the OIL (n = 33, group OIL) or TF (n = 33, group TF) approach. They were evaluated for effective pain relief using the visual analogue scale (VAS) and for functional improvement using the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ). Other outcome measures were the presence of ventral and contralateral spread of contrast, patients’ satisfaction, and adverse events.


          There were no significant differences between the groups in the VAS, ODI, and RMDQ scores during the 12-week period. The differences in the ODI and RMDQ scores before and after the treatment were higher in group TF than in group OIL. The contralateral spread of contrast was higher in group OIL than in group TF. There were no significant differences in the other outcomes between the groups.


          ESIs delivered through the OIL approach are equally effective in pain relief and functional improvement as those delivered via the TF approach in the management of low back and unilateral lumbosacral radicular pain.

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          Most cited references 21

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          The characteristics of patient satisfaction measures.

           J. Wright,  P Hudak (2000)
          Information on patient satisfaction is considered a way of including patients' perspectives in the planning and assessment of services. The study of patient satisfaction is a relatively new field, and despite the surge in popularity and use of satisfaction measures during the past three decades, different issues remain to be explored. This is not meant to dissuade clinicians from using satisfaction measures, but rather to allow them to proceed in a thoughtful way, recognizing what these measures can reasonably show us about patients' perceptions of the care and treatment interventions they receive. The proposed approach to classifying the characteristics of patient satisfaction measures should help to highlight potential reasons for variation in results when satisfaction measures perform differently and will be of value if it increases the specificity with which clinicians select measures to achieve their purposes.
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            Paraplegia following image-guided transforaminal lumbar spine epidural steroid injection: two case reports.

            To present two case reports of a rare but devastating injury after image-guided, lumbar transforaminal injection of steroids, and to explore features in common with previously reported cases. Image (fluoroscopic and computed tomography [CT])-guided, lumbar transforaminal injections of corticosteroids have been adopted as a treatment for radicular pain. Complications associated with these procedures are rare, but can be severe. An 83-year-old woman underwent a fluoroscopically guided, left L3-L4, transforaminal injection of betamethasone (Celestone Soluspan). A 79-year-old man underwent a CT-guided, right L3-L4, transforaminal injection of methylprednisolone (DepoMedrol). Both patients developed bilateral lower extremity paralysis, with neurogenic bowel and bladder, immediately after the procedures. Magnetic resonance imaging scans were consistent with spinal cord infarction. There was no evidence of intraspinal mass or hematoma. These cases consolidate a pattern emerging in the literature. Distal cord and conus injury can occur following transforaminal injections at lumbar levels, whether injection is on the left or right. This conforms with the probability of radicular-medullary arteries forming an arteria radicularis magna at lumbar levels. All cases used particulate corticosteroids, which promotes embolization in a radicular artery as the likely mechanism of injury. The risk of this complication can be reduced, and potentially eliminated, by the utilization of particulate free steroids, testing for intra-arterial injection with digital subtraction angiography, and a preliminary injection of local anesthetic.
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              Complications and pitfalls of lumbar interlaminar and transforaminal epidural injections

              Lumbar interlaminar and transforaminal epidural injections are used in the treatment of lumbar radicular pain and other lumbar spinal pain syndromes. Complications from these procedures arise from needle placement and the administration of medication. Potential risks include infection, hematoma, intravascular injection of medication, direct nerve trauma, subdural injection of medication, air embolism, disc entry, urinary retention, radiation exposure, and hypersensitivity reactions. The objective of this article is to review the complications of lumbar interlaminar and transforaminal epidural injections and discuss the potential pitfalls related to these procedures. We performed a comprehensive literature review through a Medline search for relevant case reports, clinical trials, and review articles. Complications from lumbar epidural injections are extremely rare. Most if not all complications can be avoided by careful technique with accurate needle placement, sterile precautions, and a thorough understanding of the relevant anatomy and contrast patterns on fluoroscopic imaging.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                15 February 2021
                : 14
                : 407-414
                [1 ]Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Pusan National University School of Medicine , Yangsan, Republic of Korea
                [2 ]Research Institute for Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital , Yangsan, Republic of Korea
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Gyeong-Jo Byeon Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital , Geumoro 20, Yangsan, Gyeongnam, 50612, Republic of KoreaTel +82-55-360-2129Fax +82-55-360-2149 Email byeongj@pusan.ac.kr
                © 2021 Choi et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 10, References: 21, Pages: 8
                Original Research


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