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Clinical Trials Update
August 27, 2014

Adding Glucocorticoid to Lidocaine Not Helpful for Spinal Stenosis

JAMA. 2014;312(8):778. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.10953

Widely used epidural injections of glucocorticoid plus lidocaine offered little or no benefit over epidural injections of lidocaine alone in treating symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis, according to findings of a randomized controlled trial of 400 people (Friedly J et al. N Engl J Med. 2014;371[1]:11-21).

At 6 weeks, patients who had received the fluoroscopically guided glucocorticoid-plus-lidocaine injections showed no difference in pain-related functional disability or in pain intensity than patients who had received only lidocaine. At 3 weeks, pain and function outcomes were slightly better in the glucocorticoid-lidocaine group, which may account for these patients reporting greater treatment satisfaction and reduction in depressive symptoms. Participants in both groups had decreased pain and improved function.