North American Spine Society Annual Meeting
North American Spine Society Annual Meeting
August 01, 2014
1 min read

Combination treatment no more effective than anesthetic alone for spinal stenosis

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ORLANDO, Fla. — The combination of lidocaine and steroid injections for the treatment of spinal stenosis was found to be no more effective than an injection of lidocaine alone, according to data presented at the International Spine Intervention Society Annual Meeting, here.

“In adults age 50 and older who have lumbar canal stenosis and leg pain greater than back pain due to neurogenic claudication, epidural steroid injections were not different than epidural lidocaine injections at 3 [weeks] to 6 weeks,” David Sibell, MD, said.

David Sibell


The double-blind, randomized control study included 400 patients who were randomized into two groups. Overall, 200 patients received lumbar epidural steroid injections plus local anesthetic and 200 patients received epidural injections of only local anesthetic.

The researchers observed a small improvement with the corticosteroid at 3 weeks, but he said this was due solely to the interlaminar approach and not transforaminal approach injections. Additionally, he said there was evidence of sustained systemic effects of the corticosteroid, including cortisol suppression, which should be considered particularly in older adults.

Sibell and colleagues were recognized with the Best Clinical Abstract Award for their study. — by Robert Linnehan


Sibell D. A double-blind randomized controlled trial of lumbar epidural steroid injections for spinal stenosis. Presented at: International Spine Intervention Society Annual Meeting; July 30-Aug. 3; Orlando, Fla.

Disclosure: Sibell has no relevant financial disclosures.