Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018

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Limited Benefits with Intra-Discal Steroid Injections for Back Pain

A a randomized trial published in Annals of Internal Medicine shows that intradiscal glucocorticoid injection has limited (1 month) efficacy in treating low back pain (LBP) associated with active discopathy, yet decreased over time.

A 3 center study in France assessed efficacy of a single glucocorticoid intradiscal injection in patients with chronic low back pain with active discopathy. Patients were randomized to receive either glucocorticoid injection during discography (n = 67) or discography alone (n = 68).

Back pain was assessed after 2 days and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. Intradiscal glucocorticoid injection group were more apt to achieve a pain score of <40 (out of 100) compared to the control group (55.4% vs. 33.3%).

This study (and others) question the use of spinal injections in patients with active disc disease and LBP.


The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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