Epidural Lysis of Adhesions for Failed Back Surgery and Spinal Stenosis

Anesthesia and analgesia (Impact Factor: 3.47). 01/2014; 118(1):215-24. DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000000042
Source: PubMed


Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is a challenging problem. One treatment advocated to treat FBSS is epidural lysis of adhesions (LOA). The results of studies examining LOA for FBSS have been mixed, but are limited because no study has ever sought to identify factors associated with outcomes.
We performed this multicenter, retrospective study in 115 patients who underwent LOA for FBSS (n = 104) or spinal stenosis (n = 11) between 2004 and 2007. Twenty-seven demographic, clinical, and procedural variables were extracted from medical records and correlated with the outcome, defined as ≥50% pain relief lasting ≥1 month. Univariable analysis was performed, followed by multivariable logistic regression.
Overall, 48.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 39.3%-58.1%) of patients experienced a positive outcome. In univariable analysis, those who had a positive outcome were older (mean age 64.1 years; 95% CI, 59.7-68.6 vs 57.2; 95% CI, 53.0-61.4 years; P = 0.02), while higher baseline numerical rating scale pain scores were associated with a negative outcome (mean 6.7 years; 95% CI, 6.0-7.3 vs 7.5; 95% CI, 6.9-8.0; P = 0.07). Use of hyaluronidase did not correlate with outcomes in univariable analysis (odds ratio [OR], 1.2; 95% CI, 0.6-2.5; P = 0.65). In multivariable analysis, age ≥81 years (OR, 7.8; 95% CI, 1.4-53.7), baseline numerical rating scale score ≤9 (OR, 4.4; 95% CI, 1.4-16.3, P = 0.02), and patients on or seeking disability or worker's compensation (OR, 4.4; 95% CI, 1.1-19.5, P = 0.04) were significantly more likely to experience a positive outcome.
Considering our modest success rate, selecting patients for epidural LOA based on demographic and clinical factors may help better select treatment candidates. Procedural factors such as the use of hyaluronidase that increase risks and costs did not improve outcomes, so further research is needed before these become standard practice.

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    • "Yet, few studies have examined the factors associated with outcomes of epidural LOA. In a large retrospective analysis by Hsu et al. conducted in 115 patients who underwent epidural LOA, the one variable that was most consistently associated with successful response in both univariate and multivariate analysis was age greater than 81 years [62]. A numeric rating score (NRS) <9 was also associated with a positive outcome. "
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    ABSTRACT: As our population ages and the rate of spine surgery continues to rise, the use epidural lysis of adhesions (LOA) has emerged as a popular treatment to treat spinal stenosis and failed back surgery syndrome. There is moderate evidence that percutaneous LOA is more effective than conventional ESI for both failed back surgery syndrome, spinal stenosis, and lumbar radiculopathy. For cervical HNP, cervical stenosis and mechanical pain not associated with nerve root involvement, the evidence is anecdotal. The benefits of LOA stem from a combination of factors to include the high volumes administered and the use of hypertonic saline. Hyaluronidase has been shown in most, but not all studies to improve treatment outcomes. Although infrequent, complications are more likely to occur after epidural LOA than after conventional epidural steroid injections.
    The Korean journal of pain 01/2014; 27(1):3-15. DOI:10.3344/kjp.2014.27.1.3
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    ABSTRACT: First described over 25 years ago, epidural lysis of adhesions (LOA) involves the mechanical dissolution of epidural scar tissue, which may directly alleviate pain and facilitate the spread of analgesic substances to area(s) of pain generation. Although it most commonly performed for lumbar failed back surgery syndrome, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests it may be effective for spinal stenosis and radicular pain stemming from a herniated disc. There is weak positive evidence that LOA is more effective than conventional caudal epidural steroid injections for failed back surgery syndrome and spinal stenosis, and that LOA is more effective than sham adhesiolysis and conservative management for lumbosacral radiculopathy. For cervical disc herniation and spinal stenosis, there is only anecdotal evidence suggesting effectiveness and safety. Factors that may contribute to the enhanced efficacy compared to traditional epidural steroid administration include the high volume administered, the use of hypertonic saline, and to a lesser extent the use of hyaluronidase and a navigable catheter to mechanically disrupt scar tissue and guide medication administration. Although LOA is widely considered a safe intervention, the complication rates are higher than for conventional epidural steroid injection.
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the results of lumbar epiduroscopic adhesiolysis using mechanical methods and a radiofrequency catheter followed by epidural steroid and local anesthetic administration in patients with postoperative fibrosis and persistent or recurrent symptoms. Prospective study. Patients with persistent or recurrent low back and/or lower limb pain after lumbar spine surgery, in whom no relevant findings were present on MR images besides epidural scar tissue, were submitted to epiduroscopic adhesiolysis. Patient-reported outcomes including pain and disability were assessed in predefined time intervals and compared to baseline. Twenty-four patients were enrolled. It was possible to elicit the patient's usual pain by probing the epidural scar tissue in all patients. Statistically significant improvement in low back and lower limb pain was observed in all assessment periods up to 12 months. A pain relief over 50% was achieved in 71% of the patients at 1 month, 63% at 3 and 6 months, and 38% at 12 months. Disability scores significantly improved for around 6 months. Mean patient satisfaction rates were 80% at 1 month, 75% at 3 months, 70% at 6 months, and 67% 1 year after intervention. Only 1 transient postprocedural complication was detected. Endoscopic adhesiolysis is a potentially useful treatment for the relief of chronic intractable low back and lower limb pain in patients with previous lumbar spine surgery and epidural fibrosis. The use of larger volumes of saline during endoscopy and the employment of radiofrequency for the lysis of epidural adhesions are safe procedures, which may provide an additional benefit to the intervention. © 2014 World Institute of Pain.
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