New Spine article on biologics “Orthokine” Use in Lumbar Epidurals for Sciatica

A common treatment for a herniated Disc or “Sciatica” that fails physical therapy and conservative treatment is an epidural steroid injection. Nowadays they are performed under an x-ray machine, called fluroscopy which ensures proper needle placement and safety.

A study from Spine compared steroids/cortisone which is commonly used in epidurals to decrease nerve inflammation with Orthokine. is a biologic agent known as a Cytokine. It specifically blocks Interlukin-1, which plays a role in inflammation and pathology. Similar to PRP, whole blood is drawn from a patient and placed in a centrifuge aftrewards. However there is an additional step with incubation of the processed blood for 24hrs which creates IL1-RA an antagonist that blocks pain/inflammation.

The study suggests that after 3 months of receiving a series of 3 injections, those with Orthokine injections had more dramatic decreased pain scores than those with cortisone. Furthermore, there are less adverse effects associated with autologous blood versus steroids.

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Orthokine and PRP are part of an emerging industry that combine modern technology while maximiizing the body’s natural ability to heal itself. This field is known as Orthobiologics.

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