gms | German Medical Science

56. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e. V. (DGNC)
3èmes journées françaises de Neurochirurgie (SFNC)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e. V.
Société Française de Neurochirurgie

07. bis 11.05.2005, Strasbourg

Is the so-called epidural neuroplasty (Racz catheter) a harmless procedure?

Ist die sogenannte Epidurale Neuroplastie (Racz-Katheter) eine harmlose Maßnahme?

Meeting Abstract

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Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Société Française de Neurochirurgie. 56. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e.V. (DGNC), 3èmes journées françaises de Neurochirurgie (SFNC). Strasbourg, 07.-11.05.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc10.05.-11.04

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Published: May 4, 2005

© 2005 Richter.
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To examine the assumption that the so-called epidural neuroplasty using the Racz catheter for pain of spinal origin is a harmless procedure.


Retrospective analysis by questionnaire among the 171 neurosurgical departments in Germany taken from the Directory of the German Society of Neurosurgery. Analysis was done in 2003, covered the years 2001 and 2002, and focused on potential complications of the Racz "epidural neuroplasty". This is the injection of a corticosteroid, a local anaesthetic, of saline and eventually hyaluronidase by a lumbar epidural catheter.


63/171 questionnaires were returned. In the geographical area of 25/63 departments this techniques was not practiced at all. 5 neurosurgical departments had own experience with this method. Among these, only one center reported 12 cases with complications which were only minor, however. The remaining 33 centers all had seen complications, most frequently spinal infections (22 cases), neurological deficits (14), hematomas (6) and CSF fistulas (2). Among these locations the cities of Munich and Berlin must be considered "champions".


The so-called "epidural neuroplasty" for the treatment of pain of spinal origin using the Racz catheter is by no means a harmless procedure. It rather carries important risks.