Randomized, Prospective Study of Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Corticosteroid Injection(s) Versus Defined Physical Therapy for the Treatment of Subacute Lumbar Radicular Pain Due to Disc Protrusion

The purpose of this research study is to look at two of the common forms of treatment for this condition: physical therapy and epidural steroid injection. The investigators are attempting to evaluate whether or not physical therapy alone, or epidural steroid injections alone, are effective in treating this condition. The investigators will also try to determine whether or not one of these treatments is better than the other for the treatment of herniated discs with nerve injury (radiculopathy).

Stanford is not currently accepting new patients for this trial. You may want to check clinicaltrials.gov to see if other locations are recruiting.



  • other : Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Corticosteroid Injection
  • other : Observation
  • other : Physical Therapy

Phase: Phase 3


Ages Eligible For Study:

18 Years - 64 Years

Inclusion Criteria

Patient inclusion highlights: L4-5 or L5-S1 HNP with leg>back pain; duration < 12 weeks. 1. Low back pain episode less than or equal to 12 weeks in duration, within the current pain episode. This may be the initial pain episode or the onset of a most recent episode of pain, preceded by at least a six month pain free interval. 2. Visual analog score (VAS) or screening Likert pain scale score three day average and present pain of at least four/ten at baseline. 3. Age 18 to 64. 4. Subjects will have focal disc herniation with unilateral radicular/neurological deficits or correlating radicular symptoms. These radicular symptoms/signs are defined as pain or paresthesias below the knee, pain reproduction with straight-leg-raising and/or extension or quadrant maneuvers, and radicular pattern sensory, reflex or strength changes. These symptoms will be consistent with their level of nerve root impingement and will primarily involve the L5 and/or S1 roots. 5. Those with canal and foraminal compromise due to disc herniation at L4-5 with L5 > L4 signs and symptoms WILL be included.

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Contact information

Primary Contact:

Ma Agnes Ith 6507217600

Stanford University School of Medicine 300 Pasteur Drive Stanford, CA 94305

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