Spinal Injections: Trends in the US Outpatient Population

Authors: Douglas D. Dean, DO, M. Brigid Maruszak, DO, Laura F. Sandoval, DO


Chronic low back pain is one of the most common complaints addressed by primary care physicians. When conservative approaches fail, minimally invasive interventional procedures such as epidural steroid injections are often used. These injections are generally well tolerated; however, serious adverse effects can occur. The outbreak of fungal meningitis in 2012 linked to contaminated methylprednisolone acetate vials distributed by the New England Compounding Center used for epidural injections highlights serious potential complications.1

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1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections. Accessed August 28, 2013.
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