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Kathmandu Univ Med J (KUMJ). 2005 Oct-Dec;3(4):349-54.

Our experience with epidural steroid injections in management of low backpain and sciatica.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal.



Low back pain and sciatica is a common clinical condition. It is a most common orthopaedic complaint in the Kaski region of Nepal. The reason for its increased incidence may be hilly terrain, difficult working and living environment of the region. The initial treatment of Low back pain is conservative. Epidural steroid injection is being slowly established as are liable mode of conservative management in many orthopaedic centres of the world. This is a preliminary report of on-going study of the use of epidural steroid in the management of low back pain cases coming to the orthopaedic department of Manipal Teaching Hospital.


Prospective clinical trial was carried out on the patients reporting with low back pain and sciatica not responding to other modes of conservative treatment. Pre and post injection evaluation was done clinically. The level of pain, improvement in physical signs and ability to do activities of daily living were noted.


Fifty two patients were observed for the average duration of 2.87 months. Average duration of symptoms was for 10 months. After first epidural steroid injection 83% of patients reported relief on day one. In some cases the onset of analgesia was delayed. Four patients reported no relief after first injection. Fifteen patients were given two injections and four received three injections. The average duration between two injections was three weeks. Average duration of pain relief was 20 days. At the end of 3 months, good results were seen in 39%, fair in 33% and bad results in 27%. Overall 59% of patients were able to do activities of daily living. Three patients (5.76%)required operation for disc prolapse. Postoperatively two patients reported back with back pain. Most common complaint of patients after injection was pain at the injection site. No major complications were encountered.


Epidural Steroid Injection is a safe and effective mode of treatment of Low Back Pain. It provides painfree period to enable the patient for physiotherapy which helps in early recovery.

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