Preoperative Corticosteroid Epidural Injection and Lumbar Decompression Surgery Outcomes

    Not Recruiting
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Lahey Clinic
Updated on 4 December 2022


This randomized control trial will compare opioid use, pain, and functional outcomes following decompression surgery for single-level lumbar radiculopathy in patients who undergo placement of corticosteroid epidural injection within 2 weeks prior to surgery compared to those who do not. The hypothesis of this study is that patients who receive the preoperative corticosteroid injection will have less reduced postoperative opioid use, as well as earlier mobilization, reduced length of stay, and faster return to work compared to control patients who do not receive the injection.


This is a randomized control study that will be completed within the Department of Neurosurgery at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center. Patients will undergo their recommended surgery to treat single-level lumbar radiculopathy. Patients who are randomized to and consent to receiving a preoperative corticosteroid injection will report to clinic within 2 weeks prior to date of surgery to receive a corticosteroid injection. These subjects will first receive a topical anesthesia to the skin and underlying tissue in a maximum amount of 5 ml of 1% Lidocaine. Following this application, an 18-20 gauge epidural needle will be used to inject a solution containing 80 mg Depo-Medrol in 1 ml of 1% PF Lidocaine and 5ml of sterile PF saline. To assure the injection is epidural, we will be using loss of resistance technique under fluoroscopy and epidural placement will be confirmed with the live-image instillation in the AP and lateral positions of dye, with pattern confirming epidermal needle placement.

All patients will complete health outcome questionnaires (VAS, EQ-5D, ODI) at baseline (treatment cohort: prior to injection, control cohort: prior to spine surgery), 1 week post-op, 1 month post-op, and 3 months post-op. Patients will be instructed to bring all condition-related pain medication containers to each follow-up for research measuring purposes. Research personnel will record number of pills remaining in container, number of opioid prescription refills, and respective dates. Opioid usage for each subject will be tracked and converted to mg oral morphine equivalents using a standard table. Research personnel will capture additional clinic information such as length of stay, length of time before ambulation, and occurrence of any complications (i.e. DVT, infection). Opioid use, muscle relaxants, and other pain medication use will be followed for 3 months. At baseline and at each post-op follow up, patients will be asked to define their use of illicit drugs over the past 6 months (heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, other). Return to work date and work status will be captured out to 3 months. Patients will submit a health-cost diary at 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months, and this data will be combined with hospital-based cost information to generate a cost analysis. This diary will capture costs such as medication costs, copayments, travel, etc. Additionally, all patient surgery cancelations as well as reason for cancelation will be recorded. No additional medical testing will be required by the patient.

Condition Lumbar Radiculopathy
Treatment Corticosteroid Injection
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03543033
SponsorLahey Clinic
Last Modified on4 December 2022

Similar trials to consider


Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note