This report describes the methodological approach and clinical application of a minimally invasive intervention to treat lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS).
Thirty-four patients with LSS underwent fluoroscopically guided transforaminal epidural dry needling using a specially designed flexed Round Needle. The needle was inserted 8-12 cm lateral to the midline at the level of the stenosis and advanced to a position between the anterior side of the facet joint and pedicle up to the outer-third of the pedicle. The needle was advanced medially and backed laterally within a few millimetres along the canal side of the inferior articular process between the facet joint and pedicle. The procedure was completed when a marked reduction in resistance was felt at the tip of the needle. The procedure was performed bilaterally at the level of the stenosis.
The average follow-up period was 12.9 ± 1.1 months. The visual analogue scale (VAS) pain score was reduced from 7.3 ± 2.0 to 4.6 ± 2.5 points, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score decreased from 41.4 ± 17.2 to 25.5 ± 12.6% and the average self-rated improvement was 52.6 ± 33.1%. The VAS scores indicated that 14 (41.2%) patients reported a "good" to "excellent" treatment response, while 11 (32.4%) had a "good" to "excellent" treatment response on the ODI and 22 (64.7%) had a "good" to "excellent" treatment response on the self-rated improvement scale.
These results suggest that fluoroscopically guided transforaminal epidural dry needling is effective for managing LSS.
Background and Objectives
Previous studies have concluded that transforaminal epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are more effective than interlaminar injections in the treatment of radiculopathies due to lumbar intervertebral disk herniation. There are no published studies examining the depth of epidural space using a transforaminal approach. We investigated the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and the depth of the epidural space during lumbar transforaminal ESIs.
Eighty-six consecutive patients undergoing lumbar transforaminal ESI at the L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1 levels were studied. Using standard protocol, the foraminal epidural space was attained using fluoroscopic guidance. The measured distance from needle tip to skin was recorded (depth to foraminal epidural space). The differences in the needle depth and BMI were analyzed using regression analysis.
Needle depth was positively associated with BMI (regression coefficient [RC], 1.13; P < 0.001). The median depths (in centimeters) to the epidural space were 6.3, 7.5, 8.4, 10.0, 10.4, and 12.2 for underweight, normal, preobese, obese I, obese II, and obese III classifications, respectively. Sex (RC, 1.3; P = 0.02) and race (RC, 0.8; P = 0.04) were also significantly associated with needle depth; however, neither factor remained significant when BMI was accounted as a covariate in the regression model. Age, intervertebral level treated, and oblique angle had no predictive value on foraminal depth (P > 0.2).
There is a positive association between BMI and transforaminal epidural depth, but not with age, sex, race, oblique angle, or intervertebral level.
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.
Back pain; Spinal injection; Epidural steroid injection; Lumbar interlaminar epidural; Lumbar transforaminal epidural; Complications; Safety; Risk management
Study Design: Retrospective case-control study.
Objective: To compare the effectiveness between caudal and trans-foraminal epidural steroid injections for the treatment of primary lumbar radiculopathy.
Summary of Background Data: Spinal injections with steroids play an important role in non-operative care of lumbar radiculopathy. The trans-foraminal epidural steroid injection (TESI) theoretically has a higher success rate based on targeted delivery to the symptomatic nerve root. To our knowledge, these results have not been compared with other techniques of epidural steroid injection.
Methods: 93 patients diagnosed with primary lumbar radiculopathy of L4, L5, or SI were recruited for this study: 39 received caudal epidural steroid injections (ESI) and 54 received trans-foraminal epidural steroid injections (TESI). Outcomes scores included the SF-36, Oswestry disability index (ODI) and pain visual analogue scale (VAS), and were recorded at baseline, post-treatment (<6 months), long-term (>1 year). The average follow-up was 2 years, and 16 patients were lost to follow-up. The endpoint “surgical intervention” was a patient-driven decision, and considered failure of treatment. Intent-to-treat analysis, and comparisons included t-test, Chi-square, and Wilcoxon rank-sum test.
Results: Baseline demographics and outcomes scores were comparable for both treatment groups (ESI vs. TESI): (SF-36 PCS (32.3 ± 7.5 vs. 29.5 ± 8.9 respectively; p = 0.173), MCS (41.2 ± 12.7 vs. 41.1 ± 10.9, respectively; p = 0.971), and VAS (7.4 ±2.1 vs. 7.9 ± 1.2, respectively; p = 0.228)). Surgery was indicated for failure of treatment at a similar rate for both groups (41.0% vs. 44.4%, p=0.743). Symptom improvement was comparable between both treatment groups (ESI vs. TESI): SF-36 PCS improved to 42.0±11.8 and 37.7±12.3, respectively; p=0.49; ODI improved from 50.0±21.2 to 15.6±17.9and from 62.1±17.9 to 26.1±20.3, respectively (p=0.407).
Conclusions: The effectiveness of TESI is comparable to that of ESI (approximately 60%) for the treatment of primary lumbar radiculopathy. The increased complexity of TESI is not justified for primary cases, and may have a more specific role in recurrent disease or for diagnostic purposes.
A 55-year-old obese man (body mass index, 31.6 kg/m2) presented radiating pain and motor weakness in the left leg. Magnetic resonance imaging showed an epidural mass posterior to the L5 vertebral body, which was isosignal to subcutaneous fat and it asymmetrically compressed the left side of the cauda equina and the exiting left L5 nerve root on the axial T1 weighted images. Severe arthritis of the left facet joint and edema of the bone marrow regarding the left pedicle were also found. As far as we know, there have been no reports concerning a solitary epidural lipoma combined with ipsilateral facet arthorsis causing lumbar radiculopathy. Solitary epidural lipoma with ipsilateral facet arthritis causing lumbar radiculopathy was removed after the failure of conservative treatment. After decompression, the neurologic deficit was relieved. At a 2 year follow-up, motor weakness had completely recovered and the patient was satisfied with the result. We recommend that a solitary epidural lipoma causing neurologic deficit should be excised at the time of diagnosis.
Solitary epidural lipoma; Posterior facet; Ipsilateral arthritis; Lumbar radiculopathy
Chronic low back pain can be a manifestation of lumbar degenerative disease, herniation of intervertebral discs, arthritis, or lumbar stenosis. When nerve roots are compromised, low back pain, with or without lower extremity involvement, may occur. Local inflammatory processes play an important role in patients with acute lumbosciatic pain. The purpose of this study was to assess the value of erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) measurements in patients with chronic low back pain or radiculopathy.
ESR and hsCRP were measured in 273 blood samples from male and female subjects with low back pain and/or radiculopathy due to herniated lumbar disc, spinal stenosis, facet syndrome, and other diseases. The hsCRP and ESR were measured prior to lumbar epidural steroid injection.
The mean ESR was 18.8 mm/h and mean hsCRP was 1.1 mg/L. ESR had a correlation with age.
A significant systemic inflammatory reaction did not appear to arise in patients with chronic low back pain.
ESR; hsCRP; low back pain
A retrospective case report of a 24-year-old man with recurrent lumbar disk herniation and epidural fibrosis is presented. Recurrent lumbar disk herniation and epidural fibrosis are common complications following lumbar diskectomy.
A 24-year-old patient had a history of lumbar diskectomy and new onset of low back pain and radiculopathy. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed recurrent herniation at L5/S1, left nerve root displacement, and epidural fibrosis.
Intervention and Outcomes
The patient received a course of chiropractic care including lumbar spinal manipulation and rehabilitation exercises with documented subjective and objective functional and symptomatic improvement.
This case report describes chiropractic management including spinal manipulative therapy and rehabilitation exercises and subsequent objective and subjective functional and symptomatic improvement.
Low back pain; Recurrent; Disk displacement; Intervertebral; Chiropractic manipulation; Diskectomy
To describe the clinical presentation, characteristic findings of imaging studies, and treatment of lumbar radiculopathy caused by foraminal stenosis in rheumatoid arthritis.
Lumbar lesions in rheumatoid arthritis are relatively rare, with a limited number of systemic reports.
Six patients with lumbar radiculopathy caused by foraminal stenosis in rheumatoid arthritis were treated. The patients were all women with a mean age of 69 years and mean rheumatoid arthritis duration of 15 years. The medical records and imaging studies of all patients were reviewed.
The affected nerve roots were L4 in four patients and L3 in two patients. Foraminal stenosis was not demonstrated in magnetic resonance images in four of the six patients. Selective radiculography with nerve root block reproduced pain, manifested blocking effect, and demonstrated compression of the nerve root by the superior articular process of the lower vertebra in all patients. Conservative treatment was performed on one patient, and surgery was conducted for the rest of the five patients; radiculopathy was improved in all patients.
Lumbar foraminal stenosis is a characteristic pathology of rheumatoid arthritis, and should be kept in mind in the diagnosis of lumbar radiculopathy. Selective radiculography is useful in the diagnosis of affected nerve roots.
Diagnosis; foraminal stenosis; lumbar spine; radiculopathy; rheumatoid arthritis; surgery
To report an unusual case of vastus lateralis muscle rupture not accompanied by any history of major trauma or the presence of a risk factor in a patient with spinal stenosis.
Summary of background data
Isolated vastus lateralis muscle rupture without an obvious cause is very rare. Localized pain and claudication are the most common symptoms and can be misdiagnosed as lumbar radiculopathy.
A 70-year-old patient presented with right lower extremity and back pain, diagnosed as spinal stenosis. He was initially treated with caudal epidural block and transforaminal epidural block, which resulted in nearly complete relief of his symptoms. However, he subsequently experienced a pain that was no longer responsive to treatment. The ultrasonographic exam revealed a partial tear of the right vastus lateralis muscle.
Injection of local anesthetics relieved the patient’s symptoms. At 1-month follow-up, he remained pain-free.
In patients with lower back and leg pain, physicians should consider non-spinal conditions that can cause signs and symptoms mimicking lumbar radiculopathy.
Muscle injury; Quadriceps muscle; Radiculopathy; Spinal stenosis
Vertebral haemangiomas are recognized to be one of the commonest benign tumours of the vertebral column, occurring mostly in the thoracic spine. The vast majority of these are asymptomatic. Infrequently, these can turn symptomatic and cause neurological deficit (cord compression) through any of four reported mechanisms: (1) epidural extension; (2) expansion of the involved vertebra(e) causing spinal canal stenosis; (3) spontaneous epidural haemorrhage; (4) pathological burst fracture. Thoracic haemangiomas have been reported to be more likely to produce cord compression than lumbar haemangiomas.
A forty-nine year old male with acute onset spinal cord compression from a pathological fracture in a first lumbar vertebral haemangioma. An MRI delineated the haemangioma and extent of bleeding that caused the cord compression. These were confirmed during surgery and the haematoma was evacuated. The spine was instrumented from T12 to L2, and a cement vertebroplasty was performed intra-operatively. Written consent for publication was obtained from the patient.
The junctional location of the first lumbar vertebra, and the structural weakness from normal bone being replaced by the haemangioma, probably caused it to fracture under axial loading. This pathological fracture caused bleeding from the vascularized bone, resulting in cord compression.
Vertebral haemangioma; Pathological fracture; Spinal cord compression; Vertebroplasty; Paralysis; Paraparesis
Herniated intervertebral disc causes in a great number of cases of lumbar nerve root compression, especially in the segment L5/S1. Other reasons responsible for stress to the lumbar spinal root are the spinal canal stenosis and the postdiscotomy syndrome. For patients without neurological deficiencies, the conservative treatment includes different epidural injection techniques. Steroids are often applied. A specific injection technique needing only a small drug amount is the epidural perineural approach using a special two-needle technique. The anatomical spaces of the nerve roots have received little attention in therapy. We have determined the anterolateral epidural space nerve volume of the nerve root L5/S1, and compared the data collected in an anatomical study with operative measurements during discectomy. The volume determination in the human cadavers was performed with liquid silicone filling the anterolateral space after dissection. The in vivo measurements were performed during surgery at the site of the anterolateral space after discectomy. The anatomical studies showed us a mean value volume of 1.1 ml. The surgical volume determinations result in a mean volume of 0.9 ml. A better understanding of the anterolateral epidural space may allow a reduction of the injection volume in the conservative nerve root compression treatment, especially using the epidural perineural technique, avoiding the risk of side effects of high doses of steroids.
Lumbar nerve root compression; Anatomical volume determination; Epidural–perineural injection technique
Lumbar epidural varices are rare and usually mimick lumbar disc herniations. Back pain and radiculopathy are the main symptoms of lumbar epidural varices. Perineural cysts are radiologically different lesions and should not be confused with epidural varix. A 36-year-old male patient presented to us with right leg pain. The magnetic resonance imaging revealed a cystic lesion at S1 level that was compressing the right root, and was interpreted as a perineural cyst. The patient underwent surgery via right L5 and S1 hemilaminectomy, and the lesion was coagulated and removed. The histopathological diagnosis was epidural varix. The patient was clinically improved and the follow-up magnetic resonance imaging showed the absence of the lesion. Lumbar epidural varix should be kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of the cystic lesions which compress the spinal roots.
Epidural; Varix; Perineural cyst; Surgery
Intervertebral disk herniation is relatively common. Migration usually occurs in the ventral epidural space; rarely, disks migrate to the dorsal epidural space due to the natural anatomical barriers of the thecal sac.
A 49-year-old man presented with 1 week of severe back pain with bilateral radiculopathy to the lateral aspect of his lower extremities and weakness of the ankle dorsiflexors and toe extensors. Lumbar spine magnetic resonance imaging with gadolinium revealed a peripheral enhancing dorsal epidural lesion with severe compression of the thecal sac. Initial differential diagnosis included spontaneous hematoma, synovial cyst, and epidural abscess. Posterior lumbar decompression was performed; intraoperatively, the lesion was identified as a large herniated disk fragment.
Dorsal migration of a herniated intervertebral disk is rare and may be difficult to definitively diagnose preoperatively. Dorsal disk migration may present in a variety of clinical scenarios and, as in this case, may mimic other epidural lesions on magnetic resonance imaging.
Vertebral disk, herniation; Back pain, radiculopathy; Abscess, epidural; Hematoma, epidural; Laminectomy; Decompression, lumbar
Chronic spinal epidural hematoma related to Kummell's disease is extremely rare. An 82-year-old woman who had been managed conservatively for seven weeks with the diagnosis of a multi-level osteoporotic compression fracture was transferred to our institute. Lumbar spine magnetic resonance images revealed vertebral body collapse with the formation of a cavitary lesion at L1, and a chronic spinal epidural hematoma extending from L1 to L3. Because of intractable back pain, a percutaneous vertebroplasty was performed. The pain improved dramatically and follow-up magnetic resonance imaging obtained three days after the procedure showed a nearly complete resolution of the hematoma. Here, we present the rare case of a chronic spinal epidural hematoma associated with Kummell's disease and discuss the possible mechanism.
Spinal epidural hematoma; Kummell's disease; Percutaneous vertebroplasty
The natural history of uncomplicated hematogenous pyogenic spondylodiscitis is self-limiting healing. However, a variable degree of bone destruction frequently occurs, predisposing the spine to painful kyphosis. Delayed treatment may result in serious neurologic complications. Early debridement of these infections by percutaneous transpedicular discectomy can accelerate the natural process of healing and prevent progression to bone destruction and epidural abscess. The purpose of this manuscript is to present our technique of percutaneous transpedicular discectomy (PTD), to revisit this minimally invasive surgical technique with stricter patient selection, and to exclude cases of extensive vertebral body destruction with kyphosis and neurocompression by epidural abscess, infected disc herniation, and foraminal stenosis. In a previously published report of 28 unselected patients with primary hematogenous pyogenic spondylodiscitis, the immediate relief of pain after PTD was 75%, and in the longterm follow-up, the success rate was 68%. Applying stricter patient selection criteria in a second series of six patients (five with primary hematogenous spondylodiscitis and one with secondary postlaminectomydiscectomy spondylodiscitis), all patients with primary hematogenous spondylodiskitis (5/5) experienced immediate relief of pain that remained sustained at 12–18 months follow-up. This procedure was not very effective, however, in the patient who suffered from postlaminectomy infection. This lack of response was attributed to postlaminectomydiscitis instability. The immediate success rate after surgery for unselected patients in this combined series of 34 patients was 76%. This technique can be impressively effective and the results sustained when applied in the early stages of uncomplicated spondylodiscitis and contraindicated in the presence of instability, kyphosis from bone destruction, and neurological deficit. The special point of this procedure is a minimally invasive technique with high diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness.
Percutaneous transpedicular discectomy; Primary hematogenous pyogenic spondylodiscitis
Background: Properly administered, lumbar epidural analgesia provides adequate pain relief during labor and
delivery, and is considered to be a safe procedure with limited complications. The prevalence of infection after
lumbar epidural analgesia is negligible.
Introduction: Infection of the sacroiliac joint, although very close to the pucture area, has never been reported as
a procedure complication.
Case: In this report, we describe a patient who experienced bacterial sacroiliitis a few days after lumbar epidural
analgesia for labor. No portal of entry was identified, and we evoked a new potential risk factor that has never
been proposed before, namely lumbar epidural analgesia.
Conclusion: Sacroiliitis must be considered as a rare but serious complication of lumbar epidural analgesia.
We present a rare case of delayed onset of epidural hematoma after lumbar surgery whose only presenting symptom was vesicorectal disturbance. A 68-year-old man with degenerative spinal stenosis underwent lumbar decompression and instrumented posterolateral spine fusion. The day after his discharge following an unremarkable postoperative course, he presented to the emergency room complaining of difficulty in urination. An MRI revealed an epidural fluid collection causing compression of the thecal sac. The fluid was evacuated, revealing a postoperative hematoma. After removal of the hematoma, his symptoms disappeared immediately, and his urinary function completely recovered. Most reports have characterized postoperative epidural hematoma as occurring early after operation and accompanied with neurological deficits. But it can happen even two weeks after spinal surgery with no pain. Surgeons thus may need to follow up patients for at least a few weeks because some complications, such as epidural hematomas, could take that long to manifest themselves.
Epiduroscopic laser discectomy and neural decompression (ELND) is known as an effective treatment for intractable lumbar pain and radiating pain which develop after lumbar surgery, as well as for herniation of the intervertebral disk and spinal stenosis. However, various complications occur due to the invasiveness of this procedure and epidural adhesion, and rarely, cranial nerve damage can occur due to increased intracranial pressure. Here, the authors report case in which double vision occurred after epiduroscopic laser discectomy and neural decompression in a patient with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS).
epiduroscopic laser discectomy; failed back surgery syndrome; trochlear nerve palsy
Continuous epidural blockade remains the cornerstone of pediatric regional anesthesia. However, the risk of catastrophic trauma to the spinal cord when inserting direct thoracic and high lumbar epidural needles in anesthetized or heavily sedated pediatric patients is a concern. To reduce this risk, research has focused on low lumbar or caudal blocks (ie, avoiding the spinal cord) and threading catheters from distal puncture sites in a cephalad direction. However, with conventional epidural techniques, including loss-of-resistance for localization of the needle, optimal catheter tip placement is difficult to assess because considerable distances are required during threading. Novel approaches include electrical epidural stimulation for physiological confirmation and segmental localization of epidural catheters, and ultrasound guidance for assessing related neuroanatomy and real-time observation of the needle puncture and, potentially, catheter advancement. The present article provides a brief and focused review of these two advances, and outlines recent clinical experiences relevant to pediatric epidural anesthesia.
Electrical epidural stimulation; Epidural anesthesia and analgesia; Pediatric; Review; Ultrasound
Facet joint injection is considered to be a safe procedure. There have been some reported cases of facet joint pyogenic infection and also 3 cases of facet joint infection spreading to paraspinal muscle and epidural space due to intra-articular injections. To the author's knowledge, paraspinal and epidural abscesses after facet joint injection without facet joint pyogenic infection have not been reported. Here we report a case in which extra-articular facet joint injection resulted in paraspinal and epidural abscesses without facet joint infection. A 50-year-old man presenting with acute back pain and fever was admitted to the hospital. He had the history of diabetes mellitus and had undergone the extra-articular facet joint injection due to a facet joint syndrome diagnosis at a private clinic 5 days earlier. Physical examination showed tenderness over the paraspinal region. Magnetic resonance image (MRI) demonstrated the paraspinal abscess around the fourth and fifth spinous processes with an additional epidural abscess compressing the thecal sac. The facet joints were preserved. The laboratory results showed a white blood cell count of 14.9 × 109 per liter, an erythrocyte sedimentation rate of 52mm/hour, and 10.88mg/dL of C-reactive protein. Laminectomy and drainage were performed. The pus was found in the paraspinal muscles, which was communicated with the epidural space through a hole in the ligamentum flavum. Cultures grew Staphylococcus aureus. Paraspinal abscess communicated with epidural abscess is a rare complication of extra-articular facet joint injection demonstrating an abscess formation after an invasive procedure near the spine is highly possible.
Complication; infection; injection; facet joint
Lumbar spinal stenosis is one of the most common causes of low back pain among older adults and can cause significant disability. Despite its prevalence, treatment of spinal stenosis symptoms remains controversial. Epidural steroid injections are used with increasing frequency as a less invasive, potentially safer, and more cost-effective treatment than surgery. However, there is a lack of data to judge the effectiveness and safety of epidural steroid injections for spinal stenosis. We describe our prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trial that tests the hypothesis that epidural injections with steroids plus local anesthetic are more effective than epidural injections of local anesthetic alone in improving pain and function among older adults with lumbar spinal stenosis.
We will recruit up to 400 patients with lumbar central canal spinal stenosis from at least 9 clinical sites over 2 years. Patients with spinal instability who require surgical fusion, a history of prior lumbar surgery, or prior epidural steroid injection within the past 6 months are excluded. Participants are randomly assigned to receive either ESI with local anesthetic or the control intervention (epidural injections with local anesthetic alone). Subjects receive up to 2 injections prior to the primary endpoint at 6 weeks, at which time they may choose to crossover to the other intervention.
Participants complete validated, standardized measures of pain, functional disability, and health-related quality of life at baseline and at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3, 6, and 12 months after randomization. The primary outcomes are Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire and a numerical rating scale measure of pain intensity at 6 weeks. In order to better understand their safety, we also measure cortisol, HbA1c, fasting blood glucose, weight, and blood pressure at baseline, and at 3 and 6 weeks post-injection. We also obtain data on resource utilization and costs to assess cost-effectiveness of epidural steroid injection.
This study is the first multi-center, double-blind RCT to evaluate the effectiveness of epidural steroid injections in improving pain and function among older adults with lumbar spinal stenosis. The study will also yield data on the safety and cost-effectiveness of this procedure for older adults.
Previous lumbar spinal surgery (PLSS) is not currently considered as a contraindication for regional anesthesia. However, there are still problems that make spinal anesthesia more difficult with a possibility of worsening the patient's back pain. Spinal anesthesia using combined spinal-epidural anesthesia (CSEA) in elderly patients with or without PLSS was investigated and the anesthetic characteristics, success rates, and possible complications were evaluated.
Materials and Methods
Fifty patients without PLSS (Control group) and 45 patients with PLSS (PLSS group) who were scheduled for total knee arthroplasty were studied prospectively. A CSEA was performed with patients in the left lateral position, and 10 mg of 0.5% isobaric tetracaine was injected through a 27 G spinal needle. An epidural catheter was then inserted for patient controlled analgesia. Successful spinal anesthesia was defined as adequate sensory block level more than T12. The number of skin punctures and the onset time were recorded, and maximal sensory block level (MSBL), time to 2-segment regression, success rate and complications were observed.
The success rate of CSEA in Control group and PLSS group was 98.0%, and 93.3%, respectively. The median MSBL in PLSS group was higher than Control group [T4 (T2-L1) vs. T6 (T3-T12)] (p < 0.001). There was a significant difference in the number of patients who required ephedrine for the treatment of hypotension in PLSS group (p = 0.028).
The success rate of CSEA in patients with PLSS was 93.3%, and patients experienced no significant neurological complications. The MSBL can be higher in PLSS group than Control group.
Anesthetics local, tetracaine; anesthetic techniques, subarachnoid; surgery, spinal
Spinal epidural lipomatosis (SEL) is an overgrowth of the normally encapsulated adipose tissue in the epidural space around the spinal cord in the thoracic and lumbar spine causing compression of the neural components. Idiopathic SEL in non-obese patients is exceptional. Idiopathic SEL can result in thoracic myelopathy and lumbar radiculopathy. A thoracic radiculopathy due to idiopathic SEL has not been reported yet. We report a case of idiopathic SEL with intractable chest pain and paresthesia. We suggest that idiopathic SEL should be considered as a cause of chest pain.
Spinal; Idiopathic; Epidural; Lipomatosis; Thoracic; Chest pain
We report a case of an 83-year-old gentleman presenting with acute low back pain and radicular left lower extremity pain after golfing. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the lumbar spine revealed a low-signal-density lesion compressing the L5 nerve. A computed tomography scan was then ordered, confirming an extra-foraminal disc protrusion at the L5–S1 level, containing a focus of gas that was compressing the left L5 nerve root and communicating with the vacuum disc at L5–S1. After a failed left L5 transforaminal epidural steroid injection, the patient was brought back for a percutaneous intradiscal aspiration of the vacuum disc gas. This resulted in immediate relief for the patient. A follow-up MRI performed 2 months after the procedure found an approximate 25% reduction in the size of the vacuum disc herniation. Six months after the procedure, the patient remains free of radicular pain. This case report suggests that a percutaneous aspiration of gas from a vacuum disc herniation may assist in the treatment of radicular pain.
vacuum disc phenomenon; lumbar spine; intervertebral disc; epidural gas; percutaneous procedure
Background: Chronic persistent low back and lower extremity pain secondary to central spinal stenosis is common and disabling. Lumbar surgical interventions with decompression or fusion are most commonly performed to manage severe spinal stenosis. However, epidural injections are also frequently performed in managing central spinal stenosis. After failure of epidural steroid injections, the next sequential step is percutaneous adhesiolysis and hypertonic saline neurolysis with a targeted delivery. The literature on the effectiveness of percutaneous adhesiolysis in managing central spinal stenosis after failure of epidural injections has not been widely studied.
Study Design: A prospective evaluation.
Setting: An interventional pain management practice, a specialty referral center, a private practice setting in the United States.
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of percutaneous epidural adhesiolysis in patients with chronic low back and lower extremity pain with lumbar central spinal stenosis.
Methods: Seventy patients were recruited. The initial phase of the study was randomized, double-blind with a comparison of percutaneous adhesiolysis with caudal epidural injections. The 25 patients from the adhesiolysis group continued with follow-up, along with 45 additional patients, leading to a total of 70 patients. All patients received percutaneous adhesiolysis and appropriate placement of the Racz catheter, followed by an injection of 5 mL of 2% preservative-free lidocaine with subsequent monitoring in the recovery room. In the recovery room, each patient also received 6 mL of 10% hypertonic sodium chloride solution, and 6 mg of non-particulate betamethasone, followed by an injection of 1 mL of sodium chloride solution and removal of the catheter.
Outcomes Assessment: Multiple outcome measures were utilized including the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), the Oswestry Disability Index 2.0 (ODI), employment status, and opioid intake with assessment at 3, 6, and 12, 18 and 24 months post treatment. The primary outcome measure was 50% or more improvement in pain scores and ODI scores.
Results: Overall, a primary outcome or significant pain relief and functional status improvement of 50% or more was seen in 71% of patients at the end of 2 years. The overall number of procedures over a period of 2 years were 5.7 ± 2.73.
Limitations: The lack of a control group and a prospective design.
Conclusions: Significant relief and functional status improvement as seen in 71% of the 70 patients with percutaneous adhesiolysis utilizing local anesthetic steroids and hypertonic sodium chloride solution may be an effective management strategy in patients with chronic function limiting low back and lower extremity pain with central spinal stenosis after failure of conservatie management and fluoroscopically directed epidural injections.
Central spinal stenosis; percutaneous adhesiolysis; steroids; local anesthetics; hypertonic sodium chloride solution