Online Journal Club

As busy physicians, Spine Intervention Society (SIS) members struggle to keep up with the never-ending stream of new research findings that can impact their practice. Furthermore, members need to be able to attend to valid research findings and understand how such data can assist their clinical practice. For example, members will benefit from being able to defend their treatment plans to insurance carriers, and will better understand directions for future research pursuits.

In an effort to keep our members abreast of newly published, meaningful research findings, the Research Division has established an online journal club intended to summarize and appraise recently published articles of interest to interventional spine care providers.

On a quarterly basis, the Research Division members identify and review three high impact papers that are of most interest to interventional spine care, summarizing and critically appraising the studies, and posting the summary, critique and reference information here.

All Research Division members have an opportunity to submit articles for consideration. If more than three articles have been submitted for consideration, the Research Division has voted on the top three most impactful papers. Papers have been selected based on the value of the research findings and their focus. Members of the Research Division have had an opportunity to analyze each paper and one member of the Research Division has synthesized the feedback and attempted to present each paper critically and constructively to our membership.

The goal of the Spine Intervention Society's Online Journal Club is to assist members in staying abreast of research in high priority areas, and encourage consideration and a meaningful dialogue about the findings.

Please follow the links below to review the summary results of studies listed, and to share via the message boards any thoughts and suggestions about the critical assessment of these studies and their potential impact on everyday practice.

Disclaimer: The reviews presented have been completed by EBM-trained members of the Spine Intervention Society's Research Division, and represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals who have completed the reviews, not the SIS Research Division or the Spine Intervention Society as an organization. The intent of the Online Journal Club is to summarize recently published studies on high priority topics, and encourage consideration and stimulate discussion amongst SIS members.

Click links to access assessments (Requires Member Login)

Second Quarter: April – June 2016 

Desai MJ, Kapural L, Petersohn JD, Vallejo R, Menzies R, Creamer M, Gofeld M. (2016). A Prospective Randomized, Multicenter, Open-Label Clinical Trial Comparing Intradiscal Biacuplasty to Conventional Medical Management for Discogenic Lumbar Back Pain. 

Farooque M, Salzman MM, Ye Z. (2016). Effectiveness of Bilateral Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections in Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Patients with Neurogenic Claudication: A Case Series.   

Feigl GC, Dreu M, Kastner M, Rosmarin W, Ulz H, Kniesel B, Likar R. (2016). Thermocoagulation of the Medial Branch of the Lumbar Spinal Nerve: Fluoroscopy versus CT.


First Quarter: January – March 2016


Lamer TJ, Smith J, Hoelzer BC, Mauck WD, Qu W, Gazelka HM. (2016). Safety of Lumbar Spine Radiofrequency Procedures in Patients Who Have Posterior Spinal Hardware.

Levi DS, Horn S, Collado A. (2016). Reliability and Accuracy of MRI Laminar Angle Measurements to Determine Intra-Procedural Contralateral Oblique View Angle for Cervical or Thoracic Interlaminar Epidural Steroid Injections. 

Fourth Quarter: October – December 2015

Freiermuth D, Kretzschmar M, Bilecen D, Schaeren S, Jacob AL, Aeschbach A, Ruppen W. (2015). Correlation of 99mmTc-DPD SPECT/CT Scan Findings and Diagnostic Blockades of Lumbar Medial Branches in Patients with Unspecific Low Back Pain in a Randomized-Controlled Trial.

Plastaras C, McCormick ZL, Garvan C, Macron D, Joshi A, Chimes G, Smeal W, Rittenberg J, Kennedy DJ. (2015.) Adverse events associated with fluoroscopically guided lumbosacral transforaminal epidural steroid injections. 

Sivaganesan A, Chotai S, Parker S, Asher T, McGirt MJ, Devin CJ. (2015). Predictors of the efficacy of epidural steroid injections for structural lumbar degenerative pathology.

Third Quarter: July – September 2015

Cohen SP, Moon JY, Brummett CM, White RL, Larkin TM. (2015). Medial Branch Blocks or Intra-Articular Injections as a Prognostic Tool Before Lumbar Facet Radiofrequency Denervation: A Multicenter, Case-Control Study. 

Fekete T, Woernle C, Mannion AF, Held U, Min K, Kleinstück F, Ulrich N, Haschtmann D, Becker HJ, Porchet F, Theiler R, Steurer J; LSOS Working Group. (2015). The Effect of Epidural Steroid Injection on Postoperative Outcome in Patients From the Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Outcome Study. 

Tuakli-Wosornu, Terry A, Boachie-Adjei K, Harrison JR, Gribbin CK, LaSalle EE, Nguyen JT, Solomon JL, Lutz GE. (2015). Lumbar Intradiskal Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections: A Prospective, Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Study.

Second Quarter:
April – June 2015

Goni VG, Singh Jhala S, Gopinathan NR, Behera P, Batra YK. (2015). Efficacy of Epidural Perineural Injection of Autologous Conditioned Serum In Unilateral Cervical Radiculopathy: A Pilot study.

Lavelle WF, Mroz T, Lieberman I. (2015). The Incidence of Lumbar Discectomy after Epidural Steroid Injections or Selective Nerve Root Blocks.

McCormick Z, Kennedy DJ, Garvan C, Rivers E, Temme K, Margolis S, Zander E, Rohr A, Smith MC, Plastaras C. (2015). Comparison of Pain Score Reduction Using Triamcinolone vs. Betamethasone in Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections for Lumbosacral Radicular Pain.


First Quarter: January – March 2015

Manchikanti L, Cash KA, McManus CD, Damron KS, Pampati V, Falco FJ (2015). A Randomized, Double-Blind Controlled Trial of Lumbar Interlaminar Epidural Injections in Central Spinal Stenosis: 2-Year Follow-up.

Cushman D, McCormick Z, Casey E, Plastaras CT. (2015). Discrepancies in Describing Pain: Is There Agreement Between Numeric Rating Scale Scores and Pain Reduction Percentage Reported by Patients with Musculoskeletal Pain After Corticosteroid Injection?

Fourth Quarter: October – December 2014

Bicket MC, Horowitz J, Benzon H, Cohen SP. (2014). Epidural injections in prevention of surgery for spinal pain: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Cosman ER Jr, Dolensky JR, Hoffman RA. (2014). Factors that affect radiofrequency heat lesion size

Spijker-Huiges A, Vermeulen K, Winters JC, van Wijhe M, van der Meer K. (2014). Costs and cost-effectiveness of epidural steroids for acute lumbosacral radicular syndrome in general practice: an economic evaluation alongside a pragmatic randomized control trial.

Third Quarter: July – September 2014

Barbieri M, Bellini M. (2014). Radiofrequency neurotomy for the treatment of chronic pain: interference with implantable medical devices.

Friedly JL, Comstock BA, Turner JA, Heagerty PJ, Deyo RA, Sullivan SD, Bauer Z, Bresnahan BW, Avins AL, Nedeljkovic SS, Nerenz DR, Standaert C, Kessler L, Akuthota V, Annaswamy T, Chen A, Diehn F, Firtch W, Gerges FJ, Gillian C, Goldberg H, Kennedy DJ, Mandel S, Tyburski M, Sanders W, Sibell D, Smuck M, Wasan A, Won L, Jarvik JG. (2014). A Randomized Trial of Epidural Glucocorticoid Injections for Spinal Stenosis

Plastaras C, McCormick Z, Macron D, Garvan C, Joshi A, Chimes G, Smeal W, Rittenberg J. (2014). Adverse events associated with fluoroscopically guided zygapophyseal joint injections.

Second Quarter: April – June 2014

Evansa I, Logina I, Vanags I, Borgeat A. (2014). Ultrasound versus fluoroscopic-guided epidural steroid injections in patients with degenerative spinal diseases: A prospective, randomised study.

Kennedy DJ, Plastaras C, Casey E, Visco CJ, Rittenberg JD, Conrad B, Sigler J, Dreyfuss P. (2014). Comparative effectiveness of lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injections with particulate versus nonparticulate corticosteroids for lumbar radicular pain due to intervertebral disc herniation: a prospective, randomized, double-blind trial.

First Quarter: January – March 2014

Al-Kaisy, A., Van Buyten, J.P., Smet, I., Palmisani, S., Pang, D., & Smith, T. (2014). Sustained Effectiveness of 10kHz High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulationfor Patients with Chronic, Low Back Pain: 24-Month Results of a ProspectiveMulticenter Study.

Engel, A., King, W., MacVicar, J., & Standards Division of the International Spine Intervention Society. (2014). The effectiveness and risks of fluoroscopically guided cervical transforaminalinjections of steroids: a systematic review with comprehensive analysis of the published data.

Smith, A.D., Jull, G., Schneider, G., Frizzell, B., Hooper, R.A., & Sterling, M. (2014). Cervical radiofrequency neurotomy reduces central hyperexcitability and improves neck movement in individuals with chronic whiplash.  

Fourth Quarter: October – December 2013

Beyaz, S.G., Eman, A. (2013). Fluoroscopy guided cervical interlaminar steroid injections in patients with cervical pain syndromes: a retrospective study.

Bicket, M.C., Gupta, A., Brown, C.H., Cohen, S.P. (2013) Epidural injections for spinal pain. A systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the "control” injections in randomized controlled trials.

Freeman, B.J., Ludbrook, G.L., Hall, S., Cousins, M., Mitchell, B., Jaros, M., Wyand, M., Gorman, J.R. (2013). Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, trial of transforaminal epidural etanercept for the treatment of symptomatic lumbar disc herniation. 

Third Quarter: July – September 2013

El-Yahchouchi, C., Geske, J.R., Carter, R.E., Diehn, F.E., Wald, J.T., Murthy, N.S., Kaufmann, T.J., Thielen, K.R., Morris, J.M., Amrami, K.K., Maus, T.P. (2013). The Noninferiority of the nonparticulate steroid dexamethasone vs the particulate steroids betamethasone and triamcinolone in lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injections.

Park, Y., Lee, J.H., Park, K.D., Ahn, J.K., Park, J., Jee, H. (2013). Ultrasound-guided vs. fluoroscopy-guided caudal epidural steroid injection for the treatment of unilateral lower lumbar radicular pain: a prospective, randomized, single-blind clinical study.

Ribeiro, L.H., Furtado, R.N., Konai, M.S., Andreo, A.B., Rosenfeld, A., Natour, J. (2013).  The effect of facet joint injection versus systemic steroids in low back pain: a randomised contolled trial.

Second Quarter: April – June 2013

Kaufmann, T. J., Geske, J. R., Murthy, N. S., Thielen, K. R., Morris, J. M., Wald, J. T., Diehn, F. E., Amrami, K. K., Carter, R. E., Shelerud, R. A., Gay, R. E. and Maus, T. P. (2013),
Clinical Effectiveness of Single Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections.

Kroszczynski AC, Kohan K, Kurowski M, Olson TR, Downie SA. (2013). Intraforaminal Location of Thoracolumbar Anterior Medullary Arteries. Pain Medicine.

MacVicar J, Borowczyk J.M., MacVicar A.M., Loughnan B.M., Bogduk N. (2013). Lumbar Medial Branch Radiofrequency Neurotomy in New Zealand.

First Quarter: January – March 2013

Benyon, R., Hawkins, J., Laing, R., Higgins, N., Whiting, P., et al. (2013). The diagnostic utility and cost-effectiveness of selective nerve root blocks in patients considered for lumbar decompression surgery: A systematic review and economic model.

MacVicar, J., King, W., Landers, M.H., Bogduk, N. (2013).
The effectiveness of lumbar transforaminal injection of steroids: a comprehensive review with systematic analysis of the published data.

Radcliffe, K., Kepler, C., Hilibrand, A., Rihn, J., Zhao, W., Lurie, J., et al. (2013). Epidural steroid injections are associated with less improvement in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis: A subgroup analysis of the Spine Patient Outcome Research Trial.

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