ORAL STEROIDS FOR ACUTE RADICULOPATHY SECONDARY TO A HERNIATED LUMBAR DISC. HELPFUL OR NOT HELPFUL?

Often oral steroids are used to treat acute radiculopathy secondary to a herniated lumbar disc. A suitable randomized clinical trial to substantiate this has not been done. A randomized clinical trial was done recently and the results were published in JAMA, (The Journal of the American Medical Association) in May 2015. Persons were randomly assigned to receive oral steroid and others to receive a placebo.

The conclusion was that in patients with acute radiculopathy due to a herniated lumbar disc, there was no improvement in pain in the patients receiving steroids relative to patients in the placebo group. This is a significant finding and has much importance relative to the patient with a herniated lumbar disc and acute radiculopathy.