Epidural steroid injections for arthritis… another risk

One of the most common problems seen in clinical rheumatology practice is low back pain related to osteoarthritis.  Many of us rheumatologists do epidural injections for patients with spinal arthritis, particularly when patients have spinal stenosis.

As you can imagine there has been a furor over recent reported of fungal, meningitis related to tainted steroid preparations.  The New York Times reported “that more people may be at risk from contaminated drugs” produced by the “company linked to a growing meningitis outbreak.” The FDA also said that products from the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts, “may have also caused other types of infections in patients who have had eye operations or open-heart surgery.”

Fortunately, our practice does not use a compounding pharmacy as a source for injectable steroids.

This is a terrible occurrence, and is one that should remind us all about the risks of medical therapies.

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