Background and Objectives: Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are commonly performed for adults with spinal pain and/or radiculopathy. Previous pediatric ESI case series were not identified by literature review. The primary aim of this study was to examine the safety and provisional outcomes of pediatric ESIs. Methods:With institutional review board approval, medical records were reviewed for patients aged 9 to 20 years receiving a first ESI at Boston Children's Hospital from 2003 through 2013. A subset of patients completed aWeb-based follow-up questionnaire.Descriptive statistics included frequencies, medians, interquartile ranges, and Kaplan-Meier methods. Statistical comparisons were made using Wilcoxon rank sum, ÷2, Fisher exact, and Cox proportional hazards regression analyses. Results: A total of 224 patients aged 9 to 20 years underwent 428 ESIs. One hundred seventy-four (76.0%) patients had a lumbar disc herniation with radiculopathy; the others had a spectrum of other spinal disorders. There were no serious adverse events, hospitalizations, dural punctures, or nerve injuries. During follow-up, 69 (41.6%) of 166 previously nonoperated lumbar disc plus radiculopathy patients underwent discectomy at a median time of 128 days (interquartile range, 76'235 days) after first injection. Degrees of straight-leg raising at presentation was significantly associated with subsequent discectomy. On follow-up, patients who did and did not undergo discectomy had low pain scores and high function scores. Conclusions: Children and adolescents can receive ESIs under conscious sedationwith good safety. Further prospective studiesmay better define the role for these injections in the comprehensive management of pediatric spinal pain disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine