Ultrasound-guided caudal epidural injection to treat symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis: a retrospective study


Submitted: 8 December 2023
Accepted: 15 February 2024
Published: 7 May 2024
Abstract Views: 369
PDF: 114
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Authors

Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) occurs when bony, ligamentous, and synovial elements of the lower axial spine degenerate and overgrow, compressing neural and vascular elements in the spinal canal. Compression can cause static back pain, radicular lower extremity pain, or neurogenic claudication. Radiological and clinical findings are needed to diagnose lumbar stenosis. In this framework, caudal epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a standard treatment. The volume injected and needle positioning are the main issues that could compromise the effectiveness of the epidural injection. However, ultrasound-guided caudal epidural injections have become more common in recent years. Since Klocke and colleagues described the ultra-sound-guided caudal block in 2003, it has grown in popularity. Multiple ethnic studies have reported ultrasound-guided caudal injection success rates of 96.9–100%. Color Doppler ultrasonography can also determine if a drug solution reaches the lumbosacral region. We enrolled 42 patients with lumbar spinal stenosis, persistent lumbosciatalgia, and neurogenic claudicatio unresponsive to painkillers who were not surgical candidates. Each patient receives four weekly injections for four weeks. If the patient responds to treatment but still has pain, monthly injections are needed to reach and maintain the benefit. Treatment will be changed if the patient does not respond after 4 caudal injections. Sterile caudal epidural injections are performed with ultrasound guidance and a spinal needle 21G. Triamcinolone 40 mg, levobupivacaine 10 mg, and physiological solution 10 ml are delivered. Each patient received an average of 4 injective treatments (4±2, Means 4, SD 2). Data analysis shows that the treatment reduced pain significantly before and after therapy, which persisted after 3 months. Caudal epidural injection is one of the most common conservative treatments for chronic low back pain with radiculopathy, and lidocaine alone or with steroids is effective. In this framework, the two main literature issues about caudal epidural injection effectiveness on lumbar pain are correct. Therefore, 10 ml is suitable and effective for treating symptoms without side effects. Pain reduction of over 50% from start to finish and three-month follow-up have shown significant results in pain control and disability improvement. Finally, caudal epidural injection for lumbar spinal stenosis symptoms is effective, safe, and provides long-term pain relief.


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