A Survey among Texas Pain Society Physicians Regarding the Types and Dosages of Steroids Utilized Clinically in Epidural Steroid Injectates


Objective: Epidural steroid injections (ESI) are used extensively to treat radicular back pain. This study is designed to evaluate the types and dosages of steroids commonly used and understand prescribing habits of the Texas Pain Society pain management physicians. Method: From April to May 2014, we sent all 270 Texas Pain Society members a questionnaire to complete online. We collected 45 responses. Result: Type of steroid commonly used in injectate: Eighteen (41.9%) phy-sicians reported using methylprednisolone most. Fifteen (34.9%) physicians use triamcinolone, 9 (20.9%) physicians use dexamethasone, 1 (2.3%) uses betamethasone, and 2 skipped this question. Important factors influencing the type of steroid use in injectate: Half of the physicians reported that the location of the ESI was most important (19 responses, 48.7%). Ten (25.6%) reported that the approach of the ESI was most important. Another ten (25.6%) agreed that the potency of the steroid was most important. Dosage of steroid used in injectate: About half of the physicians use a fixed dose of steroid (22, 51.2%) while 21 (48.8%) use a variable dose of steroid. Of those who use a fixed dose of steroid, many use methylprednisolone 80 mg (9, 39.1%). Of those who use a variable dosage of steroid, the most important factor in their determination of the dosage is the patient’s comorbidities (20 responses, 58.8%). The use of depo-steroid in injectate: Thirty-two out of 43 (74.4%) use depo-steroid while 11 out of 43 (25.6%) wouldn’t use depo-steroid. Of those who use depo-steroid, the duration and availability in the epidural space is the most common reason for its use (23, 76.7%). Conclusion: By using a simple questionnaire detailing what types and dosages of steroids are used, compiling a list of best practices can help Texas Pain Society physicians tremendously in the treatment of radicular back pain.

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Dao, T. and Skaribas, I. (2014) A Survey among Texas Pain Society Physicians Regarding the Types and Dosages of Steroids Utilized Clinically in Epidural Steroid Injectates. Open Journal of Anesthesiology, 4, 291-299. doi: 10.4236/ojanes.2014.411042.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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