- 2018;21;E493-E499Variations in Interlaminar Epidural Steroid Injection Practice Patterns by Interventional Pain Management Physicians in the United States
Lisa Doan, MD, Hersh Patel, MD, Yeseniya Aronova, MD, and Christopher Gharibo, MD.
BACKGROUND: Previous surveys have identified variations in practice patterns related to epidural steroid injections. Since then, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required the addition of drug warning labels for injectable corticosteroids. Updated evidence, as well as scrutiny from regulatory agencies, may affect practice patterns.
OBJECTIVE: To provide an update on interlaminar epidural steroid injection (ILESI) practice patterns, we surveyed interventional pain management (IPM) physicians in the United States.
STUDY DESIGN and SETTING: This was a cross-sectional survey of IPM physicians in the United States.
METHODS: A web-based survey was distributed to IPM physicians in the United States selected from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredited pain medicine fellowship program list as well as the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians membership database. Physicians were queried about ILESI practices, including needle size, use of image guidance, level of injection, identification of the epidural space, and preference for injectate.
RESULTS: A total of 249 responses were analyzed. All respondents used image guidance for ILESI. There were variations in needle size, use of contrast, number of fluoroscopic views utilized, technique for identifying the epidural space, and choice of injectate.
LIMITATIONS: The response rate is a limitation, thus the results may not be representative of all United States IPM physicians.
CONCLUSIONS: Though all respondents used image guidance for ILESI, variations in other ILESI practices still exist. Since the closure of this survey, a multi-society pain workgroup published recommendations regarding ESI practices. Our survey findings support the need for more evidence-based guidelines regarding ESI.
KEY WORDS: Epidural injection, epidural steroids, survey, low back pain, neck pain, technique