Intradiscal Steroid Injection of "Questionable" Benefit for Low Back Pain with Discopathy — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
March 21, 2017

Intradiscal Steroid Injection of "Questionable" Benefit for Low Back Pain with Discopathy

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

A single glucocorticoid injection offers short-term relief of chronic back pain associated with discopathy, according to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. But the benefits are not long-lasting.

Some 135 patients with daily low back pain of at least 3 months' duration and active discopathy on magnetic resonance imaging were randomized to receive either a single glucocorticoid intradiscal injection or a control injection during discography. At baseline, all participants had scores of 40 or higher on a 100-point scale measuring back pain intensity.

The primary outcome — achievement of pain scores below 40 at 1 month — occurred significantly more often in the intervention versus control group (55% vs. 33% of patients). However, beginning at 3 months, intervention patients reported increases in pain, and by 12 months, pain intensity was similar in the two groups.

The researchers say the efficacy of the intervention "is questionable."

Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.