OBJECTIVE: To analyze the clinical outcomes of computed tomography (CT) fluoroscopy-guided selective nerve root block (SNRB) for severe arm pain caused by acute cervical disc herniation.
METHODS: The authors analyzed the data obtained from 25 consecutive patients who underwent CT fluoroscopy-guided SNRB for severe arm pain, i.e., a visual analogue scale (VAS) score of 8 points or more, caused by acute soft cervical disc herniation. Patients with chronic arm pain, motor weakness, and/or hard disc herniation were excluded.
RESULTS: The series comprised 19 men and 6 women whose mean age was 48.1 years (range 35-72 years). The mean symptom duration was 17.5 days (range 4-56 days) and the treated level was at C5-6 in 13 patients, C6-7 in 9, and both C5-6 and C6-7 in 3. Twenty-three patients underwent SNRB in 1 session and 2 underwent the procedure in 2 sessions. No complications related to the procedures occurred. At a mean follow-up duration of 11.5 months (range 6-22 months), the mean VAS score and NDI significantly improved from 9 and 58.2 to 3.4 and 28.1, respectively. Eighteen out of 25 patients (72%) showed successful clinical results. Seven patients (28%) did not improve after the procedure, and 5 of these 7 underwent subsequent anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.
CONCLUSION: CT fluoroscopy-guided SNRB may play a role as a primary conservative treatment for severe arm pain caused by acute cervical disc herniation.
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