The natural history of lumbar disc herniation with radiculopathy is favorable, with 95% of patients expected to be pain-free within 6 months of onset. Despite the favorable prognosis, operative treatment is often chosen by patients unable to “ride out” the radicular episode. Prospective studies comparing surgical with non-surgical treatment have demonstrated similar long-term results. We conducted a retrospective case-series study of patients with a lumbar disc herniation and intractable radicular pain without significant neurological deficits treated with intra-venous dexamethasone. The primary outcome measure was whether the patient had undergone operative treatment within 1 year of receiving the intravenous steroid treatment. 213 patients met our inclusion criteria. 30 were lost to follow-up and 2 had died before completing 1 year of follow-up. Of the remaining 181 patients, 133 (73.48%) had not undergone surgery within 1 year of receiving intra-venous steroid treatment while 48 (26.51%) had undergone surgery. 6 (3.31%) of the patients had undergone surgery more than 1 year of receiving IV steroid treatment. Intravenous steroid treatment in our retrospective series was approximately 30% better at preventing the need for surgery than the reported outcomes of conservative treatment in randomized controlled trials previously published.
|State||Published - Dec 2022|
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