Back Pain Study Raises Questions

GREAT NECK, NY -- A New York orthopedist is questioning the findings in a new study that says epidural steroid injections may not help relieve back and leg pain. “This is another study that we need to take very seriously, but my experience is that patients do benefit,” said Thomas Mauri, MD, vice chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital and chief of the Division of Spinal Surgery at North Shore University Hospital. “When we have studies that have a larger number of subjects involved in them, then we will be able to tease out the differences in how patients respond to different treatments. “ The study, published July 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved 400 patients with spinal stenosis. Patients were given steroid injections and an anesthetic for six weeks. The researchers found that the combination of medications was no more effective than the anesthetic alone.

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