What You Can (and Can’t) Learn from Pre-op Lumbar Injections

The devil's in the details, and we looked at them so you don't have to.

What’s the Claim?

Among patients undergoing posterolateral fusions for isthmic spondylolisthesis, pain relief following a preoperative lumbar transforaminal epidural corticosteroid injection was correlated with postoperative relief of leg pain, but not with improvement in back pain or other outcomes scores.

The correlation was present — greater improvements following injection tracked along with greater improvements in leg pain after surgery — but the correlation was not very tight. This has implications.

How’s It Stack Up?