Minimally invasive therapeutic interventional procedures in the spine: an evidence-based review.

Scientific Committee, Back Care Network, Athens, Greece.
Surgical technology international 02/2008; 17:259-68.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This chapter evaluates the current evidence on common minimally invasive therapeutic spinal procedures based on the Levels of Evidence and Grades of Recommendation developed by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (Oxford, United Kingdom). The results of the evaluation of current clinical evidence allow the following recommendations to be made: epidural adhesiolysis performed repeatedly every 3 months to 4 months is effective in the "post lumbar laminectomy" syndrome; epidural steroid injections may provide only short-term relief from pain in lumbar radiculopathy but have no long-term effect; selective nerve root injections of corticosteroids have no therapeutic effect on the long-term natural history of radiculopathy symptoms; intra-articular facet joint injections of corticosteroids have no therapeutic effect on lower back pain (grade of recommendation: A). Furthermore, percutaneous vertebroplasty and balloon kyphoplasty provide immediate pain relief from osteoporotic spinal fractures but no significant long-lasting benefit (grade of recommendation: B). Finally, there is limited evidence (grade of recommendation: C) of the value of medial branch (facet) neurotomy, sacroiliac joint injection of steroids, and intradiscal electrothermal therapy, as well as of the advantages of percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy over open microdiscectomy. As the level of evidence is generally low, more prospective randomized-controlled studies are needed to establish the value of the considered methods.

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