Short and Mid-term Results for Intraarticular Lumbar Facet Joint and Anterior Epidural Transforaminal Injections
Keywords:Anterior epidural transforaminal injection, facet joint, low back pain, steroid injection
Objective: Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common causes of the loss of workforce and restriction of physical activity. Lumbar facet joint injection (FJI) and anterior epidural transforaminal injection (AETI) are minimally invasive techniques that can be useful in managing acute/chronic LBP. This study aimed to analyze short and mid-term results of patients who underwent lumbar FJI and AETI.
Materials and Methods: A single-center retrospective study was performed on 60 patients who received the lumbar FJI and AETIs between January 2022 to April 2022. Patients were evaluated with the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) before and immediately after the procedure, on the 15th day, first, and third months after the procedure. Patients with a score reduction of 20 points or more on the ODI or a score reduction of 2 or more on the VAS were considered to have benefited from the procedure.
Results: This study included 78 AETIs and 244 FJIs performed on 60 patients. Four (6.7%) patients had only AETI, 12 (20%) patients had only FJI and 44 (73.3%) patients had combined AETI and FJIs. Of these patients, 48 (80%) of them have benefited from the procedure in the short term (<1 month). Of these, 30 (50%) patients sustained pain relief during the mid-term follow-ups (1-3 months).
Conclusion: Lumbar FCI and AETI are minimally invasive techniques that can be useful for managing acute/chronic LBP. Lumbar steroid injections can be preferred in selected patients with a high risk for surgical intervention and to provide time for physical therapy.