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The Natural Course of Acute Sciatica with Nerve Root Symptoms in a Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effect of Piroxicam

Weber, Henrik, MD; Holme, Ingar, PhD; Amlie, Even, MD

The Natural Course of Acute Sciatica with Nerve Root Symptoms in a Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effect of Piroxicam: PDF Only
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To study the natural history of acute sciatica, 208 patients with obvious symptoms and signs of a lumbar radiculopathy (L5 and S1) were examined within 14 days of onset. A concomitant double-blind investigation of the effect of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug piroxicam was performed. The results measured by visual analog scale and Roland's functional tests showed a satisfactory improvement throughout the 4 weeks of observation. The piroxicam-treated group had same results as the control group. Based on questionnaires at months 3 and 12 approximately 30% of the patients still complained about back trouble and 19.5% were out of work after 1 year. Four patients underwent surgery during this period.

From the Neurological Department, Life Insurance Companies' Institute for Medical Statistics at Ullevaal Hospital, Oslo, and Norsk Hydro A/S Porsgrunn, Norway.

Accepted for publication March 29, 1993.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.