What is the role of lumbar epidural steroid injections (LESIs) in the treatment of low back pain (LBP) and sciatica?

Updated: Aug 22, 2018
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

The short-term improvement provided would be appropriate in cases (1) when a patient with refractory acute-subacute sciatica is awaiting a surgical procedure; (2) when a patient is experiencing an exacerbation of chronic intermittent sciatic and further progress in physical therapy is pending; (3) when a patient needs a temporary reduction in pain to continue working with physiotherapy through stabilization exercises or a functional restoration program; or (4) for diagnostic purposes and also providing short-term relief while further treatment is determined. LESIs can often alleviate LBP and sciatica during exacerbations or flare-ups due to the tendency for these conditions to relapse or fluctuate over time.


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