Asian Spine J.  2012 Dec;6(4):227-232.

The Efficacy and Persistence of Selective Nerve Root Block under Fluoroscopic Guidance for Cervical Radiculopathy

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Chonnam National University Hospital, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea. presid50@naver.com

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective study.
OBJECTIVE
S: To investigate the outcomes of fluoroscopically guided selective nerve root block as a nonsurgical treatment for cervical radiculopathy. OVERVIEW OF LITERATURE: Only a few studies have addressed the efficacy and persistence of cervical nerve root block.
METHODS
This retrospective study was conducted on 28 consecutive patients with radicular pain due to cervical disc disease or cervical spondylosis. Myelopathy was excluded. Cervical nerve root blocks were administered every 2 weeks, up to 3 times. Outcomes were measured by comparing visual analogue scale (VAS) scores, patient satisfaction, and medication usage before the procedure and at 1 week and 3, 6, and 12 months after the procedure. In addition, complications associated with the procedure and need for other treatments were evaluated.
RESULTS
The average preoperative VAS score was 7.8 (range, 5 to 10), and this changed to 2.9 (range, 1 to 7) at 3 months and 4.6 (range, 2 to 7) at 12 months. Patient satisfaction was 71% at 3 months and 50% at 12 months. Five patients used medication at 3 months, whereas 13 used medication at 12 months. Average symptom free duration after the procedure was 7.8 months (range, 1 to 12 months). Two patients were treated surgically. Only two minor complications were noted; transient ptosis with Horner's syndrome and transient causalgia.
CONCLUSIONS
Although selective nerve root block for cervical radiculopathy is limited as a definitive treatment, it appears to be useful in terms of providing relief from radicular pain in about 50% of patients at 12 months.

Keyword

Cervical radiculopathy; Spinal nerve root; Nerve blocks
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