Steroid Injections May Not Help Pain from Spinal Stenosis
When physical therapy or anti-inflammatory medication fails, one popular treatment for leg pain caused by spinal stenosis is a steroid injection. However, according to a recently published , that treatment may be less effective than previously thought. The study found that patients with painful lumbar stenosis who received a combined lidocaine-glucocorticoid injection had about the same pain levels and degree of disability six weeks later than similar patients who were injected with lidocaine alone.
While these findings question the presumed efficacy of adding a glucocorticoid to lidocaine for epidural injection, they do not necessarily mean that all epidural injections for spinal stenosis are ineffective.
NEJM abstract: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1313265