Glucocorticoids Offer No Added Benefit for Spinal Stenosis

Glucocorticoids Offer No Added Benefit for Spinal Stenosis
Glucocorticoids Offer No Added Benefit for Spinal Stenosis

(HealthDay News) — Glucocorticoids when injected with lidocaine offer no additional benefit for treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis, according to a study published in the July 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Janna L. Friedly, MD, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues randomly assigned 400 patients with lumbar central spinal stenosis and moderate-to-severe leg pain and disability to receive epidural injections (one or two) of glucocorticoids plus lidocaine or lidocaine alone. Outcomes were evaluated six weeks after randomization and the first injection.

The researchers observed no significant between-group differences in the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire score (P=0.07) or the intensity of leg pain (P=0.48). Subgroup analysis with stratification according to type of injection (interlaminar versus transforaminal) similarly showed no significant differences at six weeks.

"In the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis, epidural injection of glucocorticoids plus lidocaine offered minimal or no short-term benefit as compared with epidural injection of lidocaine alone," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical or medical device industries.

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