Sciatica: treatment with intradiscal and intraforaminal injections of steroid and oxygen-ozone versus steroid only

Radiology. 2007 Mar;242(3):907-13. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2423051934. Epub 2007 Jan 5.


Purpose: To prospectively compare the clinical effectiveness of intraforaminal and intradiscal injections of a mixture of a steroid, a local anesthetic, and oxygen-ozone (O(2)-O(3)) (chemodiscolysis) versus intraforaminal and intradiscal injections of a steroid and an anesthetic in the management of radicular pain related to acute lumbar disk herniation.

Materials and methods: Medical Ethical Committee approval and informed consent were obtained. One hundred fifty-nine patients (86 men, 73 women; age range, 18-71 years) were included and were randomly assigned to two groups. Seventy-seven patients (group A) underwent intradiscal and intraforaminal injections of a steroid and an anesthetic, and 82 patients (group B) underwent the same treatment with the addition of an O(2)-O(3) mixture. Procedures were performed with computed tomographic guidance. An Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire was administered before treatment and at intervals, the last at 6-month follow-up. Patients and clinicians were blinded as to which treatment was performed. Results were compared with the chi(2) test.

Results: After 6 months, treatment was successful in 36 (47%) patients in group A and in 61 (74%) patients in group B. The difference was significant (P < .01).

Conclusion: Intraforaminal and intradiscal injections of a steroid, an anesthetic, and O(2)-O(3) are more effective at 6 months than injections of only a steroid and an anesthetic in the same sites.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anesthetics / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Spinal
  • Intervertebral Disc Chemolysis / methods*
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / complications
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / administration & dosage*
  • Ozone / administration & dosage*
  • Sciatica / drug therapy*
  • Sciatica / etiology
  • Steroids / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anesthetics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Steroids
  • Ozone
  • Oxygen