Effects of Caudal Epidural Dexmedetomidine on Pain, Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate and Quality of Life in Patients with Failed Back Surgery Syndrome; A Randomized Clinical Trial

Masoud Hashemi, Payman Dadkhah, Mehrdad Taheri, Mahshid Ghasemi


Objective: To evaluate the effects of dexmedetomidine in caudal epidural on controlling pain, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and quality of life in patients with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS).

Methods: The study was a single-blind clinical trial. From the total of 70 patients suffering from low back pain caused by a failed back surgery syndrome were referred to Akhtar and Imam Hossein Hospitals between the ages of 25 to 75 years with a history of back pain more than 12 weeks and a visual analogue scale (VAS) score of higher than 3, and 50 people were randomly selected and divided into two groups of dexmedetomidine and control. The control group received an epidural dose of 10 cc containing triamcinolone and bupivacaine, and the dexmedetomidine group received an epidural dose of 10 cc, containing dexmedetomidine, triamcinolones and bupivacaine with diluted normal saline. Epidural caudal injections were performed in the abdomen in a laid down position. Before starting the study and at the end of the fourth week, the two test groups were measured for visual analogue scale (VAS) and ESR and were asked to complete the quality of life questionnaire.

Results: Overall, 50 patients with FBSS were enrolled. The mean age was 53.88 ± 8.9 years (range 25–75); 54% (27/50) were men. The results showed that the injection of dexmedetomidine in epidural caudal was associated with decreased pain (p=0.001) and improved quality of life (p=0.022), while showed no significant effect on ESR (p=0.110).

Conclusion: Administration of dexmedetomidine in the epidural caudal is effective in controlling pain and quality of life in patients with failed back surgery syndrome.

Clinical Trial Registry:  IRCT20181012041316N1


Quality of life; Disability; Failed Back Surgery Syndrome; Spinal cord

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