Background and Aims Transforaminal and caudal epidural steroid injections are use to treat lumbar radiculopathy. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical effects and physical examinations of transforaminal steroid injection compared to caudal through a targeted catheter in lumbar radiculopathy.
Methods Fifty patients with lumbar radiculopathy candidates for epidural steroid injection were divided into transforaminal (T) and caudal (C) groups. Steroid injection was performed in group T with transforaminal method, and in group C with caudal method using a targeted catheter for each involved spinal nerve root. Pain intensity (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), daily analgesic consumption, and physical examinations on 4 follow-ups were evaluated.
Results Pain score (VAS) and functional disability index (ODI) were similar in both groups, and there was no significant difference between the two groups (p>0.05). The positive Lasègue test was significantly higher in the caudal group than in the transforaminal group only in the third month (p<0.05). Other physical examinations in both groups did not have significant differences in all the follow-ups. Also, there was no difference in the amount of analgesic consumption in the two groups. No complications were observed in both groups.
Conclusions This study showed that transforaminal and caudal steroid injection (with a targeted catheter) in patients with lumbar radiculopathy had similar effects in controlling pain and improving functional disability of patients in the short term. Cases of recurrence of positive Lasègue test in physical examinations in the long term (third month) in the caudal group may indicate the preference of the transforaminal approach.
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