Efficacy of Corticosteroid Injection for Sciatica Reviewed

Meta-analysis shows small short-term relief for leg pain, disability; however, little long-term benefit

TUESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Epidural corticosteroid injections offer a small but significant degree of short-term relief of leg pain and disability for patients with sciatica, but the long-term effects are even smaller and not significant, according to a review published online Nov. 13 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Rafael Zambelli Pinto, of the Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of 23 clinical trials to determine the efficacy of epidural corticosteroid injections, compared with placebo, for the treatment of sciatica. Leg pain, back pain, and disability were rated on a scale of zero (no pain or disability) to 100 (worst possible pain or disability).

Compared with placebo, the researchers identified a small, but statistically significant effect of epidural corticosteroid injections for short-term leg pain (mean difference, −6.2 points) and for short-term disability (mean difference, −3.1 points). However, the long-term effects of corticosteroid injections were smaller and not statistically significantly different from placebo.

"Despite the statistically significant short-term effects on pain and disability favoring the intervention over the placebo, the small size of the treatment effect challenges the clinical utility of this procedure," the authors write. "Findings from this review should assist patients and clinicians when discussing evidence-based treatment options for this condition."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events