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bibliography*The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Kim 2012.

Effect of Intradiscal Methylene Blue Injection for the Chronic Discogenic Low Back Pain: One Year Prospective Follow-up Study

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Tags: back pain, injections, pain problems, spine, medicine, treatment

PainSci summary of Kim 2012?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This study provided some encouraging replication of Peng 2010, which had almost shockingly good news for a high quality test of a back pain treatment. Predictably, however, the results here are not quite as thrilling — merely “good” — and the long term results were definitely less promising: “The intradiscal MB injection is a short-term effective minimally invasive treatment indicated for discogenic back pain but it may lose its effectiveness long-term.”

But see Kallewaard et al.

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of intradiscal methylene blue (MB) injection in patients with chronic discogenic low back pain.

METHOD: Twenty patients with discogenic low back pain (4 males, 16 females; mean age 45.6 years) refractory to conservative management were recruited. All subjects underwent MB injection in target lumbar intervertebral discs confirmed by provocative discography. The clinical outcome was assessed by visual analog scale (VAS) and Oswestry disability index (ODI) at baseline and 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment. Successful outcome was described as minimum of 2 points reduction in pain intensity compared with the baseline.

RESULTS: VAS and ODI significantly decreased after one injection. The average VAS and ODI were reduced significantly from 5.1 and 38.0 at baseline to 3.2 and 27.4 at 3 months after injection (p<0.05). However, the mean score of VAS at 12 month follow-up was 4.5 and we could not observe any difference between 12 months after injection and pretreatment. Eleven of twenty patients (55%) reported successful outcomes after intradiscal MB injection at 3 month follow up and the average VAS was reduced by 3.3±1.1 (p<0.05). At the time of 12 month follow up, pain had relapsed in 6 patients who have had satisfactory effect at 3 month follow up. Successful outcome was maintained in only 5 patients (20%) for 1 year.

CONCLUSION: The intradiscal MB injection is a short-term effective minimally invasive treatment indicated for discogenic back pain but it may lose its effectiveness long-term.

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