Current Issue - July/August 2019 - Vol 22 Issue 4


  1. 2019;22;307-322Effectiveness of Percutaneous Adhesiolysis in Post Lumbar Surgery Syndrome: A Systematic Analysis of Findings of Systematic Reviews
    Systematic Review
    Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD, Amol Soin, MD, Mark V. Boswell, MD, PhD, Alan D. Kaye, MD, PhD, Mahendra Sanapati, MD, and Joshua A. Hirsch, MD.

BACKGROUND: Post lumbar surgery syndrome is common and often results in chronic, persistent pain and disability, which can lead to multiple interventions. After failure of conservative treatment, either surgical treatment or a nonsurgical modality of treatment such as epidural injections, percutaneous adhesiolysis are often contemplated in managing post lumbar surgery syndrome. Multiple previous systematic reviews have reached discordant conclusions about the level of evidence for the effectiveness of percutaneous adhesiolysis in managing post lumbar surgery syndrome and other conditions.

STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of previously published systematic reviews assessing efficacy of percutaneous adhesiolysis in managing post lumbar surgery syndrome.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the value and validity of previous systematic reviews performed after 2015 on effectiveness of percutaneous adhesiolysis in managing chronic refractory low back and lower extremity pain secondary to post lumbar surgery syndrome.

METHODS: Previous systematic reviews on percutaneous adhesiolysis were evaluated. The quality of each systematic review was assessed by Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR).

The randomized trials included in the available systematic reviews were assessed by Cochrane review criteria and Interventional Pain Management techniques - Quality Appraisal of Reliability and Risk of Bias Assessment (IPM-QRB) for methodologic quality.

Data sources included relevant systematic reviews and the randomized trials included in those systematic reviews published since 2015 with searches of PubMed, Cochrane reviews, and Google Scholar through February 2019.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcome measures were significant improvement defined as 50% pain relief and improvement in functional status. Short-term efficacy was defined as improvement of 6 months or less, whereas long-term efficacy was defined as more than 6 months.

RESULTS: Three systematic reviews and 4 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of post lumbar surgery syndrome with chronic refractory low back and lower extremity pain showed notable evidence of significant pain relief. Only one systematic review, which was of low quality with inappropriate analysis, showed lack of evidence.

CONCLUSION: Overall, the present analysis shows Level I evidence for percutaneous adhesiolysis based on significant evidence from published RCTs and 3 of the 4 systematic reviews.

KEY WORDS: Post lumbar surgery syndrome, epidural fibrosis, percutaneous adhesiolysis, systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials