Current Issue - November/December - Vol 22 Issue 6


  1. 2019;22;E523-E550Effectiveness of Percutaneous Adhesiolysis in Managing Chronic Central Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
    Systematic Review
    Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD, Nebojsa Nick Knezevic, MD, PhD, Mahendra R. Sanapati, MD, Mark V. Boswell, MD, PhD, Alan D. Kaye, MD, PhD, and Joshua A. Hirsch, MD.

BACKGROUND: Symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis is a condition affecting a growing number of individuals resulting in significant disability and pain, leading to a multitude of interventions ranging from simple over the counter medication to opioids, and, finally, to complex surgical fusions. After failure of conservative treatment with drug therapy, physical therapy, and other conservative modalities including epidural injections, percutaneous adhesiolysis with targeted delivery of drugs into the epidural space can be offered in lumbar central spinal stenosis prior to minimally invasive surgical options or complex surgical fusions. To date there has been only one systematic review which has assessed the role of percutaneous adhesiolysis in treating central spinal stenosis, compared to post lumbar surgery syndrome which has multiple systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of RCTs and observational studies assessing the role of percutaneous adhesiolysis in managing lumbar central spinal stenosis.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of percutaneous adhesiolysis in managing central lumbar spinal stenosis, utilizing currently available literature.

METHODS: This systematic review was performed utilizing Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) for literature search, Cochrane review criteria, Interventional Pain Management techniques - Quality Appraisal of Reliability and Risk of Bias Assessment (IPM-QRB), and Interventional Pain Management Techniques – Quality Appraisal of Reliability and Risk of Bias Assessment for Nonrandomized Studies (IPM-QRBNR) to assess methodologic quality assessment and qualitative analysis utilizing best evidence synthesis principles, and meta-analysis.

PubMed, Cochrane library, US National Guideline Clearinghouse, Google Scholar, and prior systematic reviews and reference lists were utilized in the literature search from 1966 through June 2019. The evidence was summarized utilizing principles of the best evidence synthesis on a scale of 1 to 5.

OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome or hard endpoint was defined as the proportion of patients with 50% pain relief and improvement in functionality, whereas the secondary outcome measures or soft endpoints were pain relief and/or improvement in functionality. Short-term effectiveness was defined as improvement of 6 months or less, whereas long-term effectiveness was defined as more than 6 months.

RESULTS: Based on search criteria, 9 manuscripts were identified and considered for inclusion with final inclusion of 2 RCTs and 4 observational studies in this systematic review and 5 studies for single arm meta-analysis. The results showed Level II evidence for short-term and long-term improvement in pain and function with application of percutaneous adhesiolysis in managing central lumbar spinal stenosis.

LIMITATIONS: There was a significant paucity of evidence assessing the role of percutaneous adhesiolysis in managing lumbar central spinal stenosis, leading to Level II or moderate evidence.

CONCLUSION: Overall, the present analysis shows Level II (moderate) evidence for percutaneous adhesiolysis in managing lumbar central spinal stenosis based on relevant high quality RCTs and observational studies.

KEY WORDS: Lumbar central spinal stenosis, percutaneous adhesiolysis, randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, neuroplasty