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Michael Monheit
Michael Monheit
Attorney • (215) 840-6573

Back breaking studies raise awareness of risks associated with popular spinal treatments

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In the wake of two recent studies that suggested Medtronic Inufse Offers increased risks without an increased benefit, another study is claiming a potential link between steroid injections and spine fractures.

The study reported in the June 5th issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery does not exactly say that the treatment itself is to blame but suggests that older adults who treat lower back pain with steroid injections may increase the odds of suffering a spine fracture.

Steroid injections cause temporary pain relief, but have been known to decrease bone density over time. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery study took these findings a step further and suggested that steroid patients had an increase risk for spinal fracture.

Lead researcher, Dr. Shlomo Mandel conducted the study with 6,000 patients with an average age of 66. Half of the patients received steroid injections to treat spine-related pain, while the other half received other treatments.

Mandel found that the patients who treated with steroids were at a greater risk of developing a spine fracture. Each injection increased the risk 21 percent. Overall 150 patients who participated in the study were later diagnosed with a spine fracture.

Dr. Mandel does not want to blame the injections on the spinal fractures, but he does want to doctors and be aware of the potential risks and benefits associated with steroid injections and to take this information into consideration when developing the best treatment plan. Mandel also suggest that older patients may be at a great risk for suffering a fracture than a younger patient.

Spinal steroid injections are commonly used to treat such conditions as spinal stenosis, or a herniated disc.

For more detailed information on this study, please visit: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_137828.html