The Effectiveness of Transforaminal Epidural Injection for Discal Cyst of Lumbar Spine

Jung-Min Park, Sun-Mi Lee, Gun-Woo Lee


Prior literature does not provide clear data on the therapeutic outcome for each of the treatment methods studied for discal cyst (DC). The purpose of the current study evaluate the clinical outcomes of transforaminal epidural injection (TFEI) for DC in the lumbar spine, and to compare those to the outcomes of TFEI in treatment of disc herniation (DH) in the lumbar spine, using a prospective cohort study design. To our knowledge, this is the first report that evaluates the outcomes of TFEI for DC. Between June 2011 and February 2013, 87 patients who underwent TFEI for either DC or DH were enrolled in the current study. Clinical data using visual analogue pain scale (VAS) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), were evaluated throughly. There was no significant difference in the demographic data between both groups. In DC group, two cases with TFEI had failed as indicated by showing no improvements in spite of two-times TFEI procedures. In DH group, four cases with TFEI procedure failed. There was no statistical differences in VAS and ODI scores between the two groups during the regular follow-up times post-TFEI. However, the VAS and ODI scores in DC group were slightly elevated after six months following TFEI procedure compared to those in DH group, although this increase was not statistically significance. TFEI might be a reasonable therapeutic option for patients with DC in lumbar spine. However, the possibility of gradually worsening radiating pain and functional status six months post-TFEI should be informed to the patients.


Discal cyst, disc herniation, lumbar spine, transforaminal epidural injection, pain intensity, functional status

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