Korean J Pain.  2022 Jan;35(1):97-105. 10.3344/kjp.2022.35.1.97.

Outcomes of epidural steroids following percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy: a meta-analysis and systematic review

  • 1Department of Pain, Clinical Medical College of Yangzhou University, Northern Jiangsu People’s Hospital, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China
  • 2Department of Emergency, Clinical Medical College of Yangzhou University, Northern Jiangsu People’s Hospital, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China


Percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy (PTED) has been widely used in the treatment of lumbar degenerative diseases. Epidural injection of steroids can reduce the incidence and duration of postoperative pain in a short period of time. Although steroids are widely believed to reduce the effect of surgical trauma, the observation indicators are not uniform, especially the long-term effects, so the problem remains controversial. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to evaluate the efficacy of epidural steroids following PTED.
We searched PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Database from 1980 to June 2021 to identify randomized and non-randomized controlled trials comparing epidural steroids and saline alone following PTED. The primary outcomes included postoperative pain at least 6 months as assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). The secondary outcomes included length of hospital stay and the time of return to work.
A total of 451 patients were included in three randomized and two nonrandomized controlled trials. The primary outcomes, including VAS and ODI scores, did not differ significantly between epidural steroids following PTED and saline alone. There were no significant intergroup differences in length of hospital stay. Epidural steroids were shown to be superior in terms of the time to return to work (P < 0.001).
Intraoperative epidural steroids did not provide significant benefits, leg pain control, improvement in ODI scores, and length of stay in the hospital, but it can enable the patient to return to work faster.


Diskectomy; Percutaneous; Endoscopy; Injections; Epidural; Lumbar Vertebrae; Meta-Analysis; Pain; Postoperative; Saline Solution; Steroids; Systematic Review; Visual Analog Scale
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