Analgesic efficacy of oral gabapentin added to standard epidural corticosteroids in patients with failed back surgery
Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Medical Faculty of Sutcu Imam University, Kahramanmaras, Turkey
Objective: Failed back surgery syndrome is characterized by the presence of intractable pain and varying degrees of functional incapacity after lumbar spine surgery. Because the mechanisms that cause pain are variable, treatment of this syndrome is quite difficult, and one of the most common methods that is used for treatment nowadays is epidural injection. This research evaluates the analgesic efficacy of addition of oral gabapentin treatment to epidural corticosteroid application in patients with failed back surgery syndromes.
Methods: Forty-two patients, including 23 females and 19 males, with failed back surgery syndrome who had been previously operated on at least twice due to lumbar disc herniation were randomly divided into two groups. Following epidural application of a single dose of methylprednisolone in the first group of patients (Group K), an oral medical treatment containing naproxen sodium, tizanidine, and vitamin B and C complex, was devised to be applied for one month. For the second group, oral gabapentin was added to the same treatment regime (Group G). Pain levels were evaluated by a visual analog scale for straight leg raise before, during, and after treatment, as well as in the first and third months.
Results: There was no demographically significant difference between the patients (P > 0.05). After the beginning of treatment, it was observed that the pain level in Group G patients regressed earlier and that it progressed at a significantly lower level (both in the first and third month controls).
Conclusion: It was concluded that addition of oral gabapentin to epidural corticosteroid application in patients with failed back surgery syndromes was effective in ameliorating pain at an early stage without significant side effects.
Keywords: failed back surgery syndrome, epidural corticosteroid, gabapentin
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