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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 155-161

Effect of transforaminal epidural block for relief of chronic low back pain with radiculopathy of multiple etiologies

Department of Anaesthesiology, R. G. Kar Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Dipasri Bhattacharya
B26/10, Abhyudoy Housing, EKTP Phase IV, P. O. EKT, Kolkata - 700 107, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-5333.165837

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Introduction: Low back pain is one of the most common causes of chronic pain syndrome. Epidural steroids are being used for relieving mechanical causes of back pain, accompanied by signs of nerve root irritation with good results. Transforaminal epidural block at a particular level is a convenient route for steroid injection. Methods: The study was carried out on patients attending our pain clinic complaining of low back pain with radiculopathy where conservative therapy failed. Patients were divided into three groups (20 in each, allocated by random number table), 1 st one having collapsed vertebra, 2 nd one having disc protrusion following degenerative changes, 3 rd one having Grade I spondylolisthesis in lumbosacral region. Each of them received transforaminal epidural block at one level (L1/L2) with a dose of 40 mg of depot methyl prednisolone, diluted with 1 ml of 0.25% isobaric bupivacaine (to make a volume of 2 ml for each level on both sides). Initial pain response (at 1 h) was assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS). Long-term pain and disability were assessed (at 1 st , 3 rd and 6 th months) by using VAS score and oswestry disability index (ODI) score. Results: Significant improvement in VAS and ODI score were observed in cases of collapsed vertebra and disc protrusion due to degenerative changes but in the cases of Grade I spondylolisthesis no such improvement was observed. Conclusion: Transforaminal epidural block causes significant relief of symptoms where compression of nerve roots at a particular level causing radiculopathy as in collapsed vertebra or disc protrusion, but not in spondylolisthesis.

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