Procedure-Based Nonsurgical Management of Lumbar Zygapophyseal Joint Cyst–Induced Radicular Pain

      Abstract

      Sabers SR, Ross SR, Grogg BE, Lauder TD. Procedure-based nonsurgical management of lumbar zygapophyseal joint cyst–induced radicular pain.

      Objective

      To evaluate the success of fluoroscopically guided, contrast-enhanced lumbar zygapophyseal joint (Z-joint) aspiration and steroid injection combined with transforaminal epidural steroid injections (TFESIs) for the treatment of lumbar Z-joint cyst–induced radicular pain.

      Design

      Retrospective case series with independent follow-up.

      Setting

      Institutional, referral center.

      Participants

      Twenty-three patients referred to a single provider for procedure-based management of radicular pain believed secondary to lumbar Z-joint cyst. Inclusion criteria consisted of lumbar radicular pain that was consistent with the level and side of the Z-joint cyst as a causative lesion.

      Interventions

      Eighteen patients were treated with a fluoroscopically guided, contrast-enhanced Z-joint aspiration and steroid injection at the level of the causative cyst coupled with a fluoroscopically guided, contrast-enhanced TFESI over the level of the presumably irritated spinal nerve.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Patient satisfaction, and whether or not surgery was performed.

      Results

      Fifty percent of patients treated with the procedure had significant long-term benefit and avoided surgical intervention at an average follow-up of 9.9 months.

      Conclusions

      Fluoroscopically guided, contrast-enhanced spinal procedures as part of an aggressive nonsurgical treatment program are a safe and effective alternative to surgical intervention for lumbar Z-joint cyst–induced radicular pain.

      Key Words

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