Minimally Invasive Treatment for Refractory Low Back Pain, Targeted by Epidural Endoscopy with O2/O3 and Steroid Therapy

  • Marcos Masini
  • Aldo Calaça
Part of the Acta Neurochirurgica Supplementum book series (NEUROCHIRURGICA, volume 108)


Purpose: Epidural endoscopy is an efficient option among conservative modalities in the management of refractory low back pain. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate retrospectively the effectiveness of the treatment of this condition with targeted O2/O3 and steroid therapy.

Material and Methods: The procedures were performed in 32 consecutive patients who failed to show significant response of at least 6 weeks or longer to treatments that included anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs, physiotherapy and posterior epidural steroids and/or facet joint injections. These procedures were performed during the year 2006 and all the patients have been followed up for at least 2 years.

Results: Patients evaluated by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) pre and immediately post procedure advised an improvement of mean 80% of their previous pain status. Follow-up revisions with 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months showed persistent improvement percentage at mean 60%. The Oswestry Disability Index showed significant changing in status pre and post procedure related to the pain control condition. No serious complications were related to the procedure.

Conclusions: Targeted Epidural endoscopy associated with injection of O2/O3 and steroids is a safe and efficient minimally invasive procedure to be used in patients with refractory low back pain. The association with ozone (O2/O3) and steroids seems to result in a long lasting pain relief, giving to the physician and to the patient a wider window to work on the treatment of other frequently associated causes (emotional, socio-economic and environmental) of refractory back pain.


Epidural Endoscopy Low back pain Ozone–Oxygen therapy Steroid therapy 


Conflict of interest statement

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.

AcknowledgmentThe authors want to thank Bio. Debora Viecili Costa Masini for data collection and statistical analysis and Dr. Joao Flavio Gurjao Madureira for bibliography revision and structuring.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcos Masini
    • 1
  • Aldo Calaça
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Medicine University of Planalto Central and South Lake HospitalBrasiliaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgerySanta Casa HospitalMaceioBrazil

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