We have studied 58 patients with pain from osteoporotic vertebral fractures which did not respond to conservative treatment. These were 53 women and five men with a mean age of 72.5 years. They received a nerve-root injection with lidocaine, bupivicaine and DepoMedrol. The mean follow-up period was 13.5 months.
The mean pain scores before treatment, at one and six months after treatment and at the final follow-up were 85, 24.9, 14.1, and 17.4, respectively. According to our modified criteria for grading results, six patients were considered to have an excellent result, 42 good and ten fair. A newly developed compression fracture was noted in three patients. There were no complications related to the injection.
Our study suggests that nerve-root injections are effective in reducing pain in patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures and that these patients should be considered for this treatment before percutaneous vertebroplasty or operative intervention is attempted.
- Received March 4, 2002.
- Accepted July 12, 2002.
- © 2003 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery