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Spinal Injections in the News

19th March, 2013: A recent article in the Daily Mail explains why many surgeons are now recommending spinal injections as a first port of call for disc pain patients.

Around eight in ten Britons will suffer back pain at some time, with many of them having a slipped disc. Each year thousands undergo surgery to treat the problem, however steroid injections can be a less invasive solution.

They work by reducing the inflammation in and around the nerve root, explains Mr Mushtaque Ishaque, a consultant spine surgeon at BMI Priory Hospital in Birmingham. 'Once the nerve is less angry, the patient can function more naturally while the body's natural defences are slowly eating away the disc material that is in the wrong place,' he says.

There is good evidence that steroid injections can be effective in sparing patients surgery, according to a review of studies published in 2009. In around 80 per cent of cases, a steroid injection can end the pain, and the remaining 20 per cent can still be offered surgery.

The risks of spinal surgery are quite high and the results can be variable adds Tom Ember, consultant orthopaedic and spinal surgeon at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital and the London Bridge Hospital. 'But injections are virtually zero-risk and done properly can be very effective in breaking the cycle for patients with back pain,' he says. 'Too many people in this country are having back operations which carry risks. Having surgery is a huge decision and should not even be considered until 'we have tried all the other measures, like injections which can often help.'

In the vast majority of cases patients usually need just one treatment with steroid jabs; around 10  per cent need a second. In fact, the benefits diminish with repeat injections, says Dr Adam Al Kashi, head of research at the charity BackCare. 'However, despite their limitations, they are certainly less injurious than surgery.'

The Blackberry Clinic spinal specialists, Dr Simon Petrides, Dr Tom Saw and Dr Bernard Nawarski are all able to assess and treat patients with spinal injections if appropriate. To book a consultation with one of our specialists, call 01908 604666 or use our contact us form.

Adapted from the Daily Mail Article: Slipped disc? The jab even surgeons say is better than an operation. By CAROL DAVIS
PUBLISHED: 23:05, 11 March 2013 | UPDATED: 23:05, 11 March 2013