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Prevalence of chronic pain after traumatic brain injury: a systematic review

Nampiaparampil, Devi E
CONTEXT: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 1.4 million US individuals sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) per year. Previous reports suggest an association between TBI and chronic pain syndromes (eg, headache) thought to be more common in patients with mild TBI and in those who have sustained brain injury from violent rather than unintentional trauma. Comorbid psychiatric disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may also mediate chronic pain symptoms. OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of chronic pain as an underdiagnosed consequence of TBI and to review the interaction between chronic pain and severity of TBI as well as the characteristics of pain after TBI among civilians and combatants. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: The Ovid/MEDLINE database was searched for articles published between 1951 and February 2008 using any combination of the terms brain injury, pain, headache, blast injury, and combat (combat disorders, war, military medicine, wounds and injuries, military personnel, veterans). The PubMed and MD Consult databases were searched in a similar fashion. The Cochrane Collaboration, National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials Database, Meta-Register of Current Controlled Trials, and CRISP databases were searched using the keyword brain injury. All articles in peer-reviewed journals reporting original data on pain syndromes in adult patients with TBI with regard to pain prevalence, pain category, risk factors, pathogenesis, and clinical course were selected, and manual searches were performed of their reference lists. The data were pooled and prevalence rates calculated. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Twenty-three studies (15 cross-sectional, 5 prospective, and 3 retrospective) including 4206 patients were identified. Twelve studies assessed headache pain in 1670 patients. Of these, 966 complained of chronic headache, yielding a prevalence of 57.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 55.5%-60.2%). Among civilians, the prevalence of chronic pain was greater in patients with mild TBI (75.3% [95% CI, 72.7%-77.9%]) compared with moderate or severe TBI (32.1% [95% CI, 29.3%-34.9%]). Twenty studies including 3289 civilian patients with TBI yielded a chronic pain prevalence of 51.5% (95% CI, 49.8%-53.2%). Three studies assessed TBI among 917 veterans and yielded a pain prevalence of 43.1% (95% CI, 39.9%-46.3%). PTSD may mediate chronic pain, but brain injury appears to have an independent correlation with chronic pain. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic pain is a common complication of TBI. It is independent of psychologic disorders such as PTSD and depression and is common even among patients with apparently minor injuries to the brain
PMID: 18698069
ISSN: 0098-7484
CID: 106482

The provocative lumbar facet joint

Binder, David S; Nampiaparampil, Devi E
Low back pain is the most common pain symptom experienced by American adults and is the second most common reason for primary care physician visits. There are many structures in the lumbar spine that can serve as pain generators and often the etiology of low back pain is multifactorial. However, the facet joint has been increasingly recognized as an important cause of low back pain. Facet joint pain can be diagnosed with local anesthetic blocks of the medial branches or of the facet joints themselves. Subsequent radiofrequency lesioning of the medial branches can provide more long-term pain relief. Despite some of the pitfalls associated with facet joint blocks, they have been shown to be valid, safe, and reliable as a diagnostic tool. Medial branch denervation has shown some promise for the sustained control of lumbar facet joint-mediated pain, but at this time, there is insufficient evidence that it is a wholly efficacious treatment option. Developing a universal algorithm for evaluating facet joint-mediated pain and standard procedural techniques may facilitate the performance of larger outcome studies. This review article provides an overview of the anatomy, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of facet joint-mediated pain
PMID: 19468914
ISSN: 1935-973x
CID: 106484

Oral Opioid Analgesics vs. Spinal Steroid Injections in the Treatment of Low Back Pain Syndromes

Nampiaparampil, Devi E; Nampiaparampil, Geetha M; Nampiaparampil, Robert G
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the outcomes related to analgesia, function, mortality, and adverse effects of oral opioid analgesics and spinal steroid injections on low back pain syndromes. DESIGN: Databases including Medline, EMBASE, PubMed, and Cochrane Library were searched in September 2009 using combinations of terms related to spinal pain and its treatment. A systematic review was performed of randomized controlled trials that enrolled patients with low back pain syndromes and that evaluated patient outcomes after intervention using either oral opioids or spinal steroid injections. RESULTS: Eight high-quality and ten moderate-quality randomized controlled trials were identified. One high-quality study on oral opioid therapy showed significant improvements in pain relief and patient function. Those on spinal steroid injections had a decreased Visual Analog Scale pain score by 7.18 (95% confidence interval, 2.21-12.1) points more than the control group at 1 mo or less and by 0.429 (95% confidence interval, -4.41 to 5.27) points at 1-3 mos. At more than 6 mos, there was no significant benefit: 0.930 (95% confidence interval, -5.03 to 6.89). Spinal steroids decreased the Oswestry Disability Index by 3.53 (95% confidence interval, 0.480-6.57) at 1 mo or less, by -0.281 (95% confidence interval, -3.18 to 2.62) at 1-3 mos, by -11.0 (95% confidence interval, -14.8 to -7.16) at 3-6 mos, and by -0.205 (95% confidence interval, -3.50 to 3.09) compared with the control group at 6 mos or more, suggesting that there was improvement in function. All-cause mortality was low in our analysis of patients attending specialty clinics. It was difficult to assess the adverse effects of opioid therapy because they influenced up to 28% of patients to withdraw from the original studies. In terms of spinal steroid injections, headache appeared to be the most common adverse effect. However, there was no significantly increased risk of headaches associated with spinal steroids compared with control injections: odds ratio, 1.29 (95% confidence interval, 0.69-2.39). CONCLUSIONS: Oral opioid therapy may be helpful for the treatment of low back pain, but it is unclear from the high-quality literature whether there are limitations from adverse effects. Spinal steroid injections are beneficial for low back pain and disability in the short-term. The high dropout rates caused by insufficient pain relief and adverse effects suggest that opioids may not be as effective as spinal steroid injections. There is more high-quality literature to support the use of spinal steroid injections compared with oral opioids in this condition
PMID: 22037559
ISSN: 1537-7385
CID: 149950

Epidural Interventions in the Management of Chronic Spinal Pain: American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) Comprehensive Evidence-Based Guidelines

Manchikanti, Laxmaiah; Knezevic, Nebojsa Nick; Navani, Annu; Christo, Paul J; Limerick, Gerard; Calodney, Aaron K; Grider, Jay; Harned, Michael E; Cintron, Lynn; Gharibo, Christopher G; Shah, Shalini; Nampiaparampil, Devi E; Candido, Kenneth D; Soin, Amol; Kaye, Alan D; Kosanovic, Radomir; Magee, Trevor R; Beall, Douglas P; Atluri, Sairam; Gupta, Myank; Helm Ii, Standiford; Wargo, Bradley W; Diwan, Sudhir; Aydin, Steve M; Boswell, Mark V; Haney, Bill W; Albers, Sheri L; Latchaw, Richard; Abd-Elsayed, Alaa; Conn, Ann; Hansen, Hans; Simopoulos, Thomas T; Swicegood, John R; Bryce, David A; Singh, Vijay; Abdi, Salahadin; Bakshi, Sanjay; Buenaventura, Ricardo M; Cabaret, Joseph A; Jameson, Jessica; Jha, Sunny; Kaye, Adam M; Pasupuleti, Ramarao; Rajput, Kartic; Sanapati, Mahendra R; Sehgal, Nalini; Trescot, Andrea M; Racz, Gabor B; Gupta, Sanjeeva; Sharma, Manohar Lal; Grami, Vahid; Parr, Allan T; Knezevic, Emilija; Datta, Sukdeb; Patel, Kunj G; Tracy, Deborah H; Cordner, Harold J; Snook, Lee T; Benyamin, Ramsin M; Hirsch, Joshua A
BACKGROUND:Chronic spinal pain is the most prevalent chronic disease with employment of multiple modes of interventional techniques including epidural interventions. Multiple randomized controlled trials (RCTs), observational studies, systematic reviews, and guidelines have been published. The recent review of the utilization patterns and expenditures show that there has been a decline in utilization of epidural injections with decrease in inflation adjusted costs from 2009 to 2018. The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) published guidelines for interventional techniques in 2013, and guidelines for facet joint interventions in 2020. Consequently, these guidelines have been prepared to update previously existing guidelines. OBJECTIVE:To provide evidence-based guidance in performing therapeutic epidural procedures, including caudal, interlaminar in lumbar, cervical, and thoracic spinal regions, transforaminal in lumbar spine, and percutaneous adhesiolysis in the lumbar spine. METHODS:The methodology utilized included the development of objective and key questions with utilization of trustworthy standards. The literature pertaining to all aspects of epidural interventions was viewed with best evidence synthesis of available literature and  recommendations were provided. RESULTS:In preparation of the guidelines, extensive literature review was performed. In addition to review of multiple manuscripts in reference to utilization, expenditures, anatomical and pathophysiological considerations, pharmacological and harmful effects of drugs and procedures, for evidence synthesis we have included 47 systematic reviews and 43 RCTs covering all epidural interventions to meet the objectives.The evidence recommendations are as follows: Disc herniation: Based on relevant, high-quality fluoroscopically guided epidural injections, with or without steroids, and results of previous systematic reviews, the evidence is Level I for caudal epidural injections, lumbar interlaminar epidural injections, lumbar transforaminal epidural injections, and cervical interlaminar epidural injections with strong recommendation for long-term effectiveness.The evidence for percutaneous adhesiolysis in managing disc herniation based on one high-quality, placebo-controlled RCT is Level II with moderate to strong recommendation for long-term improvement in patients nonresponsive to conservative management and fluoroscopically guided epidural injections. For thoracic disc herniation, based on one relevant, high-quality RCT of thoracic epidural with fluoroscopic guidance, with or without steroids, the evidence is Level II with moderate to strong recommendation for long-term effectiveness.Spinal stenosis: The evidence based on one high-quality RCT in each category the evidence is Level III to II for fluoroscopically guided caudal epidural injections with moderate to strong recommendation and Level II for fluoroscopically guided lumbar and cervical interlaminar epidural injections with moderate to strong recommendation for long-term effectiveness.The evidence for lumbar transforaminal epidural injections is Level IV to III with moderate recommendation with fluoroscopically guided lumbar transforaminal epidural injections for long-term improvement. The evidence for percutaneous adhesiolysis in lumbar stenosis based on relevant, moderate to high quality RCTs, observational studies, and systematic reviews is Level II with moderate to strong recommendation for long-term improvement after failure of conservative management and fluoroscopically guided epidural injections. Axial discogenic pain: The evidence for axial discogenic pain without facet joint pain or sacroiliac joint pain in the lumbar and cervical spine with fluoroscopically guided caudal, lumbar and cervical interlaminar epidural injections, based on one relevant high quality RCT in each category is Level II with moderate to strong recommendation for long-term improvement, with or without steroids. Post-surgery syndrome: The evidence for lumbar and cervical post-surgery syndrome based on one relevant, high-quality RCT with fluoroscopic guidance for caudal and cervical interlaminar epidural injections, with or without steroids, is Level II with moderate to strong recommendation for long-term improvement. For percutaneous adhesiolysis, based on multiple moderate to high-quality RCTs and systematic reviews, the evidence is Level I with strong recommendation for long-term improvement after failure of conservative management and fluoroscopically guided epidural injections. LIMITATIONS/CONCLUSIONS:The limitations of these guidelines include a continued paucity of high-quality studies for some techniques and various conditions including spinal stenosis, post-surgery syndrome, and discogenic pain. CONCLUSIONS:These epidural intervention guidelines including percutaneous adhesiolysis were prepared with a comprehensive review of the literature with methodologic quality assessment and determination of level of evidence with strength of recommendations.
PMID: 33492918
ISSN: 2150-1149
CID: 4766982

Triaging Interventional Pain Procedures During COVID-19 or Related Elective Surgery Restrictions: Evidence-Informed Guidance from the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP)

Gharibo, Christopher; Sharma, Amit; Soin, Amol; Shah, Shalini; Diwan, Sudhir; Buenaventura, Ricardo; Nampiaparampil, Devi E; Aydin, Steve; Bakshi, Sanjay; Abdi, Salahadin; Jha, Sachin Sunny; Cordner, Harold; Kaye, Alan D; Abd-Elsayed, Alaa; Candido, Kenneth D; Knezevic, Nebojsa Nick; Atluri, Sairam; Wargo, Bradley W; Sanapati, Mahendra R; Datta, Sukdeb; Hirsch, Joshua A; Manchikanti, Laxmaiah; Rajput, Kartic
BACKGROUND:The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the pain and suffering of chronic pain patients due to stoppage of "elective" interventional pain management and office visits across the United States. The reopening of America and restarting of interventional techniques and elective surgical procedures has started. Unfortunately, with resurgence in some states, restrictions are once again being imposed. In addition, even during the Phase II and III of reopening, chronic pain patients and interventional pain physicians have faced difficulties because of the priority selection of elective surgical procedures.Chronic pain patients require high intensity care, specifically during a pandemic such as COVID-19. Consequently, it has become necessary to provide guidance for triaging interventional pain procedures, or related elective surgery restrictions during a pandemic. OBJECTIVES:The aim of these guidelines is to provide education and guidance for physicians, healthcare administrators, the public and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to restore the opportunity to receive appropriate care for our patients who may benefit from interventional techniques. METHODS:The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) has created the COVID-19 Task Force in order to provide guidance for triaging interventional pain procedures or related elective surgery restrictions to provide appropriate access to interventional pain management (IPM) procedures in par with other elective surgical procedures. In developing the guidance, trustworthy standards and appropriate disclosures of conflicts of interest were applied with a section of a panel of experts from various regions, specialties, types of practices (private practice, community hospital and academic institutes) and groups. The literature pertaining to all aspects of COVID-19, specifically related to epidemiology, risk factors, complications, morbidity and mortality, and literature related to risk mitigation and stratification was reviewed. The evidence -- informed with the incorporation of the best available research and practice knowledge was utilized, instead of a simplified evidence-based approach. Consequently, these guidelines are considered evidence-informed with the incorporation of the best available research and practice knowledge. RESULTS:The Task Force defined the medical urgency of a case and developed an IPM acuity scale for elective IPM procedures with 3 tiers. These included emergent, urgent, and elective procedures. Examples of emergent and urgent procedures included new onset or exacerbation of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), acute trauma or acute exacerbation of degenerative or neurological disease resulting in impaired mobility and inability to perform activities of daily living. Examples include painful rib fractures affecting oxygenation and post-dural puncture headaches limiting the ability to sit upright, stand and walk. In addition, urgent procedures include procedures to treat any severe or debilitating disease that prevents the patient from carrying out activities of daily living. Elective procedures were considered as any condition that is stable and can be safely managed with alternatives. LIMITATIONS:COVID-19 continues to be an ongoing pandemic. When these recommendations were developed, different stages of reopening based on geographical regulations were in process. The pandemic continues to be dynamic creating every changing evidence-based guidance. Consequently, we provided evidence-informed guidance. CONCLUSION:The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges in IPM creating needless suffering for pain patients. Many IPM procedures cannot be indefinitely postponed without adverse consequences. Chronic pain exacerbations are associated with marked functional declines and risks with alternative treatment modalities. They must be treated with the concern that they deserve. Clinicians must assess patients, local healthcare resources, and weigh the risks and benefits of a procedure against the risks of suffering from disabling pain and exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
PMID: 32942785
ISSN: 2150-1149
CID: 4609582

Myofascial pain secondary to cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome: A case study [Meeting Abstract]

Chowdhury, J; Chanmin, R; Urman, I; Bradley, D; Nampiaparampil, D
Background Marijuana- both medical and recreational- is often used to manage pain and nausea. Some advocate for its use over traditional opioid therapy noting that it may be a safer and more effective alternative for treating chronic pain1,2. However, there is emerging evidence that marijuana may have adverse effects on pain and nausea. Activation of cannabinoid receptors inhibits GABAergic synaptic transmission in a number of central nervous system regions. The interneurons stop releasing the inhibitory neurotransmitters GABA and glycine3. Without these inhibitory signals, pain signaling to the brain intensifies3. This suggests cannabinoids can control the interneurons and potentially facilitate the transition of acute pain into chronic pain. Moreover, it appears cannabis can not only suppress nausea in certain situations, but also cause it in vulnerable patients. THC activates cannabinoid receptors in the enteric nervous system, which mediate nausea and vomiting4. Accumulation of THC in fatty tissues leads to enteric stimulation which can also lead to nausea4. Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a disorder characterized by recurrent nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain5. It associated with chronic cannabis use. The short-term treatment of CHS is supportive care. Longterm treatment is aimed at discontinuing cannabis use. Objective To assess the potential link between myofascial pain affecting the abdominal musculature and marijuana use. To raise awareness about cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome in patients with chronic pain who are not requesting opioid therapy. Case Presentation This is the case of a 22-year-old male who presented with acute on chronic abdominal pain and recurrent vomiting for over two years. He would vomit between one and seven times per day. He had developed multiple trigger points in the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, and transverse abdominis muscles. Diagnostically, the patient had a CT scan of the abdomen/ pelvis, which was unremarkable. He also had an endoscopy that was non-specific. He had multiple evaluations by various gastroenterologists and psychiatrists with no specific cause found for his symptoms. The patient had previously tried zofran, hydroxyzine, and sertraline without benefit. He reported smoking marijuana on a daily basis to address the pain and nausea. Over the treatment course, the patient received trigger point injections at the most painful areas. He returned three times over the course of six months to repeat the trigger point injections. It soon became apparent that the vomiting, which had caused the trigger points to form, was secondary to marijuana use. The patient was subsequently referred to a multidisciplinary Addiction Disorders clinic. The patient experienced > 50% relief of his chronic abdominal pain with a combination of trigger point injections and abstinence from marijuana. Conclusion Although many advocates suggest cannabis could be effective for relieving non-malignant chronic pain syndromes such as myofascial pain syndrome, there are some reports that pain may be increased with the use of this drug. To our knowledge, this is the first case in the literature of marijuana discontinuation, in combination with trigger point injections, leading to a greater than 50% improvement in myofascial pain symptoms in the abdomen and pelvis. Daily forceful vomiting can cause trigger points to form in the abdomen and pelvis. CHS can cause multiple episodes of vomiting per day5. Therefore, there may be a link between the two conditions. Patients with myofascial pain syndrome and CHS may present in the pain management office setting. Pain physicians treating patients with unexplained nausea and vomiting as well as abdominal myofascial pain should consider further assessing these patients for recreational drug use. CHS is a potential cause of chronic pain in a minority of patients. (Figure Presented)
ISSN: 2150-1149
CID: 4512272

Efficacy of Epidural Injections in Managing Chronic Spinal Pain: A Best Evidence Synthesis

Kaye, Alan D; Manchikanti, Laxmaiah; Abdi, Salahadin; Atluri, Sairam; Bakshi, Sanjay; Benyamin, Ramsin M; Boswell, Mark V; Buenaventura, Ricardo M; Candido, Kenneth D; Cordner, Harold; Datta, Sukdeb; Doulatram, Gulshan; Gharibo, Christopher G; Grami, Vahid; Gupta, Sanjeeva; Jha, Sachin Sunny; Kaplan, Eugene D; Malla, Yogesh; Mann, Dharam P; Nampiaparampil, Devi E; Racz, Gabor B; Raj, P Prithvi; Rana, Maunak V; Sharma, Manohar Lal; Singh, Vijay; Soin, Amol; Staats, Peter S; Vallejo, Ricardo; Wargo, Bradley W; Hirsch, Joshua A
BACKGROUND: Epidural injections have been used since 1901 in managing low back pain and sciatica. Spinal pain, disability, health, and economic impact continue to increase, despite numerous modalities of interventions available in managing chronic spinal pain. Thus far, systematic reviews performed to assess the efficacy of epidural injections in managing chronic spinal pain have yielded conflicting results. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate and update the clinical utility of the efficacy of epidural injections in managing chronic spinal pain. STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of epidural injections in managing chronic spinal pain. METHODS: In this systematic review, randomized trials with a placebo control or an active-control design were included. The outcome measures were pain relief and functional status improvement. The quality of each individual article was assessed by Cochrane review criteria, as well as the Interventional Pain Management Techniques - Quality Appraisal of Reliability and Risk of Bias Assessment (IPM-QRB). Best evidence synthesis was conducted based on the qualitative level of evidence (Level I to V). Data sources included relevant literature identified through searches of PubMed for a period starting in 1966 through August 2015; Cochrane reviews; and manual searches of the bibliographies of known primary and review articles. RESULTS: A total of 52 trials met inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis was not feasible. The evidence in managing lumbar disc herniation or radiculitis is Level II for long-term improvement either with caudal, interlaminar, or transforaminal epidural injections with no significant difference among the approaches. The evidence is Level II for long-term management of cervical disc herniation with interlaminar epidural injections. The evidence is Level II to III in managing thoracic disc herniation with an interlaminar approach. The evidence is Level II for caudal and lumbar interlaminar epidural injections with Level III evidence for lumbar transforaminal epidural injections for lumbar spinal stenosis. The evidence is Level II for cervical spinal stenosis management with an interlaminar approach. The evidence is Level II for axial or discogenic pain without facet arthropathy or disc herniation treated with caudal or lumbar interlaminar injections in the lumbar region; whereas it is Level II in the cervical region treated with cervical interlaminar epidural injections. The evidence for post lumbar surgery syndrome is Level II with caudal epidural injections and for post cervical surgery syndrome it is Level II with cervical interlaminar epidural injections. LIMITATIONS: Even though this is a large systematic review with inclusion of a large number of randomized controlled trials, the paucity of high quality randomized trials literature continues to confound the evidence. CONCLUSION: This systematic review, with an assessment of the quality of manuscripts and outcome parameters, shows the efficacy of epidural injections in managing a multitude of chronic spinal conditions. KEY WORDS: Chronic pain, spinal pain, epidural injections, local anesthetic, steroids, interlaminar epidural injections, caudal epidural injections, transforaminal epidural injections.
PMID: 26606031
ISSN: 2150-1149
CID: 1856972

Fluoroscopically Guided Diagnostic and Therapeutic Intra-Articular Sacroiliac Joint Injections: A Systematic Review

Kennedy, David J; Engel, Andrew; Kreiner, D Scott; Nampiaparampil, Devi; Duszynski, Belinda; MacVicar, John
OBJECTIVE: To assess the validity of fluoroscopically guided diagnostic intra-articular injections of local anesthetic and effectiveness of intra-articular steroid injections in treating sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain. DESIGN: Systematic review INTERVENTIONS: Ten reviewers independently assessed 45 publications on diagnostic validity or effectiveness of fluoroscopically guided intra-articular SIJ injections. OUTCOME MEASURES: For diagnostic injections, the primary outcome was validity; for therapeutic injections, analgesia. Secondary outcomes were also described. RESULTS: Of 45 articles reviewed, 39 yielded diagnostic data on physical exam findings, provocation tests, and SIJ injections for diagnosing SIJ pain, and 15 addressed therapeutic effectiveness. When confirmed by comparative local anesthetic blocks with a high degree of pain relief, no single physical exam maneuver predicts response to diagnostic injections. When at least three physical exam findings are present, sensitivity, and specificity increases significantly. The prevalence of SIJ pain is likely 20-30% among patients that have suspected SIJ pain based on history and physical examination. This estimate may be higher in certain subgroups such as the elderly and fusion patients. Two randomized controlled trials and multiple observational studies supported the effectiveness of therapeutic sacroiliac joint injections. CONCLUSIONS: Based on this literature, it is unclear whether image-guided intra-articular diagnostic injections of local anesthetic predict positive responses to therapeutic agents. The overall quality of evidence is moderate for the effectiveness of therapeutic SIJ injections.
PMID: 26178855
ISSN: 1526-4637
CID: 1668922

Systematic Review of the Diagnostic Accuracy and Therapeutic Effectiveness of Sacroiliac Joint Interventions

Simopoulos, Thomas T; Manchikanti, Laxmaiah; Gupta, Sanjeeva; Aydin, Steve M; Kim, Chong H; Solanki, Daneshvari R; Nampiaparampil, Devi E; Singh, Vijay; Staats, Peter S; Hirsch, Joshua A
BACKGROUND: The sacroiliac joint is well known as a cause of low back and lower extremity pain. Prevalence estimates are 10% to 25% in patients with persistent axial low back pain without disc herniation, discogenic pain, or radiculitis based on multiple diagnostic studies and systematic reviews. However, at present there are no definitive management options for treating sacroiliac joint pain. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy and therapeutic effectiveness of sacroiliac joint interventions. STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of the diagnostic accuracy and therapeutic effectiveness of sacroiliac joint interventions. METHODS: The available literature on diagnostic and therapeutic sacroiliac joint interventions was reviewed. The quality assessment criteria utilized were the Quality Appraisal of Reliability Studies (QAREL) checklist for diagnostic accuracy studies, Cochrane review criteria to assess sources of risk of bias, and Interventional Pain Management Techniques - Quality Appraisal of Reliability and Risk of Bias Assessment (I
PMID: 26431129
ISSN: 2150-1149
CID: 1790052

A Best-Evidence Systematic Appraisal of the Diagnostic Accuracy and Utility of Facet (Zygapophysial) Joint Injections in Chronic Spinal Pain

Boswell, Mark V; Manchikanti, Laxmaiah; Kaye, Alan D; Bakshi, Sanjay; Gharibo, Christopher G; Gupta, Sanjeeva; Jha, Sachin Sunny; Nampiaparampil, Devi E; Simopoulos, Thomas T; Hirsch, Joshua A
BACKGROUND: Spinal zygapophysial, or facet, joints are a source of axial spinal pain and referred pain in the extremities. Conventional clinical features and other noninvasive diagnostic modalities are unreliable in diagnosing zygapophysial joint pain. STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of the diagnostic accuracy of spinal facet joint nerve blocks. OBJECTIVE: To determine the diagnostic accuracy of spinal facet joint nerve blocks in chronic spinal pain. METHODS: A methodological quality assessment of included studies was performed using Quality Appraisal of Reliability Studies (QAREL). Only diagnostic accuracy studies meeting at least 50% of the designated inclusion criteria were utilized for analysis. The level of evidence was classified as Level I to V based on the grading of evidence utilizing best evidence synthesis. Data sources included relevant literature identified through searches of PubMed and other electronic searches published from 1966 through March 2015, Cochrane reviews, and manual searches of the bibliographies of known primary and review articles. OUTCOME MEASURES: Studies must have been performed utilizing controlled local anesthetic blocks. The criterion standard must have been at least 50% pain relief from baseline scores and the ability to perform previously painful movements. RESULTS: The available evidence is Level I for lumbar facet joint nerve blocks with the inclusion of a total of 17 studies with dual diagnostic blocks, with at least 75% pain relief with an average prevalence of 16% to 41% and false-positive rates of 25% to 44%. The evidence for diagnosis of cervical facet joint pain with cervical facet joint nerve blocks is Level II based on a total of 11 controlled diagnostic accuracy studies, with significant variability among the prevalence in a heterogenous population with internal inconsistency. The prevalence rates ranged from 36% to 67% with at least 80% pain relief as the criterion standard and a false-positive rate of 27% to 63%. The level of evidence for the diagnostic accuracy of thoracic facet joint nerve blocks is Level II with 80% or higher pain relief as the criterion standard with a prevalence ranging from 34% to 48% and false-positive rates ranging from 42% to 48%. LIMITATIONS: The shortcomings of this systematic review include a paucity of literature related to the thoracic spine, continued debate on an appropriate gold standard, appropriateness of diagnostic blocks, and utility. CONCLUSION: The evidence is Level I for the diagnostic accuracy of lumbar facet joint nerve blocks, Level II for cervical facet joint nerve blocks, and Level II for thoracic facet joint nerve blocks in assessment of chronic spinal pain. KEY WORDS: Chronic spinal pain, lumbar facet or zygapophysial joint pain, cervical facet or zygapophysial joint pain, thoracic facet or zygapophysial joint pain, facet joint nerve blocks, medial branch blocks, controlled comparative local anesthetic blocks.
PMID: 26218947
ISSN: 2150-1149
CID: 1729772