A prospective, randomized, blinded, multicenter clinical study.
To evaluate carboxymethylcellulose/polyethylene oxide gel (Oxiplex) in improving clinical outcomes in subjects having predominant leg pain and elevated low back pain undergoing first-time lumbar discectomy for disk herniation.
Summary of Background Data:
Clinical studies in the United States and Italy found that Oxiplex reduced leg pain after decompression surgery.
A total of 68 subjects with herniated lumbar disk were enrolled and randomized into treatment (surgery plus gel) or surgery-only control groups. A prospective statistical analysis assessed the effect of gel in the severe back pain subgroup (prespecified as greater than or equal to median baseline back pain of the population studied). All subjects except 2 controls lost to follow-up completed the study. Preoperative and postoperative visual analogue scale leg pain scores were analyzed and compared between groups at 60 days after surgery.
There were no serious adverse events or neurological safety concerns reported in any patients. Gel-treated patients had statistically significantly lower visual analogue scale leg pain scores at study end compared with controls (P=0.0240), representing a 21% additional reduction in leg pain compared with surgery alone in the severe baseline back pain subgroup (P=0.0240). The proportion of subgroup patients experiencing zero leg pain at study end was significantly higher in the gel treatment group (60%) than in the control group (23%) (P=0.0411).
The data from this study confirm and extend results of 2 previous studies in Italy and the United States that reported statistically significantly greater reductions in leg pain in gel-treated patients with severe preoperative low back pain compared with patients who only underwent decompression surgery.