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Transforaminal epidural steroid injection for radiculopathy and the evolution to surgical treatment

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Subtitle:a pragmatic prospective observational multicenter study
Aim: The aim of this study is to analyze the real-world outcomes of transforaminal epidural steroid injections (TFESIs) in all patients with radiculopathy and their long-term outcomes. Methods: Patients with radiculopathy and failure of conservative treatment were included in a prospective, multicenter, observational cohort study. Results: In total, 117 patients were treated with one or two TFESIs. The mean duration of follow-up was 116 (+/- 14) weeks. In total 19,6% (95% CI: 12.9-28.0%) patients were treated with surgery after insufficient symptom improvement. The evolution to surgery was not associated with etiology, symptom duration or previous spine surgery. Conclusion: Real-world data confirms that TFESIs is an effective treatment with satisfactory results in about 80% of patients for a period of 2 years. This study focusses on evaluating the real-world effectiveness of transforaminal epidural steroid injections (TFESIs) in treating radiculopathy, a condition characterized by back and leg pain due to compressed spinal nerves. This nerve compression can originate from different problems.A total of 117 patients with radiating leg pain were included in this study. The infiltrations were administered, and the primary outcome was the need for spinal surgery within 2 years. The findings revealed that approximately 20% of patients eventually required surgery due to unsatisfactory results after injections. However, for patients with satisfactory outcomes, there was a notable reduction in back and leg pain, disability and pain medication usage, along with an improved quality of life.Importantly, the results suggested that TFESIs could be considered as a treatment option in daily clinical practice, also after a prolonged duration of symptoms.Despite certain limitations, such as the absence of a control group undergoing immediate surgical treatment, the real-world data supported the effectiveness of TFESIs in treating radiculopathy. This information provides valuable insights for spine surgeons and pain physicians in understanding the prognosis of TFESIs across diverse patient scenarios. The current real-world evidence shows that TFESIs are effective in about 80% of patients for a period of 2 years. The evolution to surgery seems not to be associated with etiology, symptom duration or previous spine surgery.
Journal: Pain management
ISSN: 1758-1869
Volume: 14
Pages: 173 - 182
Publication year:2024
Keywords:Human medicine