BMJ open 2016 12 136(12) e013042 doi 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013042
To assess the usage patterns of epidural injections for chronic spinal pain in the fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare population from 2000 to 2014 in the USA.
A retrospective cohort.
The descriptive analysis of the administrative database from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician/Supplier Procedure Summary (PSPS) master data from 2000 to 2014 was performed. The guidance from Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) was applied. Analysis included multiple variables based on the procedures, specialties and geography.
Overall epidural injections increased 99% per 100 000 Medicare beneficiaries with an annual increase of 5% from 2000 to 2014. Lumbar interlaminar and caudal epidural injections constituted 36.2% of all epidural injections, with an overall decrease of 2% and an annual decrease of 0.2% per 100 000 Medicare beneficiaries. However, lumbosacral transforaminal epidural injections increased 609% with an annual increase of 15% from 2000 to 2014 per 100 000 Medicare population.
Usage of epidural injections increased from 2000 to 2014, with a decline thereafter. However, an escalating growth has been seen for lumbosacral transforaminal epidural injections despite numerous reports of complications and regulations to curb the usage of transforaminal epidural injections.