Dextrose injections for failed back surgery syndrome: a consecutive case series

Eur Spine J. 2019 Jul;28(7):1610-1617. doi: 10.1007/s00586-019-06011-3. Epub 2019 May 21.


Purpose: Patients with chronic low back pain, who do not respond to conservative treatment methods, generally undergo surgical revision operations, and sometimes an undesirable condition called failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) may be inevitable. Hereby, dextrose is one of the regenerative methods that has gained popularity in the treatment of many musculoskeletal problems, and we aimed to present and evaluate the outcomes of 5% dextrose for the treatment of FBSS.

Methods: It has been designed as a consecutive case series. A total of 79 patients with FBSS, who had minimum 6 months of symptoms and did not respond to 3 months of conservative methods between May 2014 and March 2016, participated in the study. Prolotherapy injections were applied in posterior and lateral approaches. Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were used for the pre- and post-treatment evaluations. Patient satisfaction was assessed with using a 5-point Likert scale by phone contacting.

Results: There was statistically significant difference between repeated VAS and ODI measurements.

Conclusions: These results may be the first step giving a lead to an undiscovered field. This treatment method should be kept in mind for FBSS patients before giving a decision of revision surgery. These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.

Keywords: Dextrose; FBSS; Failed back surgery syndrome; Injection; Prolotherapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Failed Back Surgery Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Failed Back Surgery Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucose / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Prolotherapy / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glucose