Zonegran, a commonly used medication for arm and leg pain secondary to nerve root irration was placed on the FDA medication watch list due to its significant life threatening side effects. Updated clinical data has demonstrated that Zonegran can cause significant changes in acid-base balance (metabolic acidosis). The list of medications with significant side effects continues to get longer. In an earlier blog, I referenced the flouroquinolones, a class of antibiotics, which demonstrated the increase the risk of tendon rupture. Sode et. al., demonstrated that the antibiotic tripled the risk of Achilles rupture.
Rather than masking the arm and leg pain associated with nerve irritation, at the Centeno-Schultz Clinic we are committed to identifying the cause of the pain and correcting it. When a lumbar disc protrudes or herniates, often times there is compression of the nerve root with resultant lancinating electrical pain down the extremity.
Treatment options include x-ray guided injections of local anesthetic and steroid in an attempt to decrease the pain and inflammation along the disc and nerve root.
Another option is the injection of concentrated growth factors derived from a patient’s own platelets in an attempt to increase the blood supply to the damaged disc. This therapy would aid in repairing the disc as opposed to simply decreasing the inflammation.
A novel new technique allows injection of expanded bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells into the disc to repair the damaged lumbar disc. Please review MRI below of a patient who underwent injection of stem cells into his L5/S1 disc. On the left, the arrow points the disc protrusion before treatment. Three months after the Regenexx therapy there was a reduction of his disc bulge as seen on image on the right, along with complete elimination of his leg pain.