gms | German Medical Science

68th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
7th Joint Meeting with the British Neurosurgical Society (SBNS)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

14 - 17 May 2017, Magdeburg

Efficacy of intraoperative epidural triamcinolone (Kenacort) application in lumbar microdiscectomy: a matched-control study

Meeting Abstract

  • Martin N. Stienen - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, UniversitätsSpital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
  • Marian Christoph Neidert - University Hospital Zurich, Department of Neurosurgery, Zürich, Switzerland
  • David Bellut - University Hospital Zürich, Department of Neurosurgery, Zürich, Switzerland
  • Thomas Waelchli - Zürich, Switzerland
  • Holger Joswig - St.Gallen, Switzerland
  • Karl Schaller - Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, Neurochirurgie, Genève, Switzerland
  • Oliver P. Gautschi - Genf, Switzerland

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Society of British Neurological Surgeons. 68. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), 7. Joint Meeting mit der Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS). Magdeburg, 14.-17.05.2017. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2017. DocDi.01.01

doi: 10.3205/17dgnc177, urn:nbn:de:0183-17dgnc1775

Published: June 9, 2017

© 2017 Stienen et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Objective: To investigate whether the intraoperative application of epidural steroids (ES) on the decompressed nerve root improves short- and mid-term subjective and objective clinical outcome after lumbar microdiscectomy.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of a prospective IRB-approved two-center database including consecutive patients undergoing lumbar microdiscectomy. All patients who have received ES (40mg triamcinolone (Kenacort®); intervention group) were matched by age and sex to patients who had not received ES (control group). Objective functional impairment (OFI) was determined using age- and sex-adjusted T-scores. Back and leg pain (visual analoge scale), functional impairment (Oswestry (ODI) and Roland-Morris disability index (RMDI), and health-related quality of life (hrQoL; Short-Form (SF)-12 physical component score (PCS) and Euro-Qol index) were measured at baseline, postoperative day three (D3) and week six (W6).

Results: N=53 patients with ES were matched with n=101 control subjects. There were no baseline demographic or disease-specific differences between the study groups, and preoperative pain, functional impairment and hrQoL were similar. On D3, the intervention group had less disability on the RMDI (7.4 vs. 10.3, p=0.003) and higher hrQoL on the SF-12 PCS (36.5 vs. 32.7, p=0.004). At W6, the intervention group had less disability on the RMDI (3.6 vs. 5.7, p=0.050) and on the ODI by trend (17.0 vs. 24.4, p=0.056); better hrQoL, determined by the SF-12 PCS (44.3 vs. 39.9, p=0.018), and lower OFI (T-score 100.5 vs. 110.2, p=0.005). The W6 responder status based on the minimum clinically important difference (MCID) was similar between the intervention and control group on each metric. Rates and severity of complications were similar, with a 3.8% and 4.0% re-operation rate in the intervention and control group, respectively (p=0.272). There was a tendency for shorter hospitalization in the intervention group (5.0 vs. 5.8 days, p=0.066).

Conclusion: Intraoperative application of ES on the decompressed nerve root is an effective adjunct treatment to lower subjective and objective functional disability and increase hrQoL in the short- and mid-term after lumbar microdiscectomy. However, group differences were lower than the commonly accepted MCIDs of each metric, indicating that the effect size of the benefit is limited.