11:35 AM

Lumbar Epidural Steroid Jab Lowers Bone Formation in Older Women

Medscape reports on HSS study results presented at the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) annual meeting by senior author Emily Margaret Stein, MD, MS, endocrinologist and bone specialist, finding levels of bone formation biomarkers were decreased for postmenopausal women who received an epidural steroid injection (ESI) in the lumbar spine to treat back and leg pain arising from a compressed nerve in the spine.

Dr. Stein and Shannon Clare, research assistant and first author of the study, cited “Our results are notable because we found that the duration of suppression of bone formation extended beyond 12 weeks, a far longer duration than seen previously with intra-articular injections [of glucocorticoids].”

According to the authors, women are not typically screened for osteopenia or osteoporosis before ESI. However, Dr. Stein and Clare noted, “Our results suggest that physicians should consider screening women for osteoporosis who receive ESI, particularly those who are treated with multiple doses. Steroid exposure should be minimized as much as possible by having patients space injections as far as they can tolerate."

The authors stated that further studies are needed of the relationship between these short-term changes in bone turnover and bone loss and the risk for fracture among the burgeoning population treated with ESIs.

Read the full article at Medscape.com.