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Victory Pain Center Weighs in on Potential Risks of Steroid Injections

Miami, FL (PRWEB) July 22, 2013

For patients suffering from back pain, steroid injections are one form of treatment provided by Victory Pain Center. These injections can provide temporary relief for pain caused by a variety of medical conditions. But a recent article on Knoxville’s WATE reveals the results of a new study that show these injections may have a link to spinal fractures.

The study focused on the use of steroid injections in older adults who suffer from lower back and leg pain. While it is still unclear whether the treatment is to blame, the findings “suggest that older patients with low bone density should be cautious about steroid injections.” The study was published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Steroid injections help to relive pain caused by compressed nerves. Causes often include herniated discs and spinal stenosis. While these anti-inflammatory drugs do ease pain, they also may lead to a decrease in bone density.

Dr. Shlomo Mandel, an orthopedic physician with the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, was the lead researcher in the study. He noted that there were “a lot of limitations” to the study, and that he did not want to imply that people should not get the injections. The study used the medical records of “3,000 Henry Ford patients who had steroid injections for spine-related pain, and another 3,000 who got other treatments.” Of those patients, who averaged 66 years of age, 150 developed vertebral fractures. Dr. Mandel and his team found that those who received steroid injections had a 21 percent greater risk of developing a vertebral fracture with each round of injections.

According to Dr. Andrew Shoenfeld, “The findings do not prove that the injections themselves caused the fractures.” He wrote a commentary that was published with the study. He noted that the findings may apply more to older adults with decreased bone mass, as opposed to younger adults, or those with normal bone mass.

Steroid injections are not effective for treating all forms of spine-related pain. For those suffering from pain caused by a herniated disc that is pressing on a nerve, injections are often beneficial. But for someone with spinal stenosis, they may not provide as much relief. Dr. Mandel and Dr. Schoenfeld both agreed that steroid injections can help with certain types of spine-related pain. They said that “older patients who have already found leg-pain relief from steroid injections may want to stick with them. But they should at least be aware of the potential fracture risk.” Other treatment options include physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and drugs that target nerve pain. These are more conservative methods of treatment.

“It is important for patients to understand the risks associated with any form of treatment,” said a representative of Victory Pain Center. “Every treatment has risks and benefits and it is up to the physician to make sure that patients are well informed. People respond differently to various drugs and injections, so what works for one might not work for another. We make sure that we look at each case individually and work with the patient to determine the most effective course of treatment.” The professionals at Victory Pain Center use a variety of methods to help with pain management.


Victory Pain Center is an interventional pain management center located in southern Florida. They treat patients who range in age from teenagers to seniors. Their goal is to provide personal attention to every patient and help to reduce pain, improve function, and maximize quality of life. The needs of each patient are met through tailored treatment plans specific to their situation and diagnosis.

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