Objective. Lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injections are procedures often utilized in the treatment of low back pain associated with radicular pain. Particulate steroids have been known to play a role in embolism. It is, unknown whether nonparticulate steroids are as effective as particulate steroids. To investigate the effect of an epidural steroid injection on back pain, we conducted a randomized, controlled trial comparing nonparticulate steroid with particulate steroid to treat lumbar disc herniation.
Design. One hundred-six patients were randomized to receive lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injections (N = 53) with either dexamethasone 7.5 mg, or with triamcinolone acetate 40 mg (N = 53). Measurement were taken before treatment and one month after treatment using a visual analog scale, short McGill pain questionnaire, and revised Oswertry Back Disability Index.
Results. There was a statistically significant difference in the visual analog score between those treated with dexamethasone and those given triamcinolone. The two groups did not differ significantly on the McGill Pain Questionnaire, or the Oswestry Disability Index before and after treatment.
Conclusion. In this study, dexamethasone and triamcinolone treatments were shown to have different effects on low back pain with sciatica, with triamcinolone being more effective than dexamethsone in lumbar radiculopathy.