Research & Innovation | New study on lumbar medial branch blocks

Dr. Pradeep Dinakar is leading a new study called, “A Prospective Observational Study Examining the Effect of Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks (LMBB) on Extension Related Axial Chronic Low Back Pain among the Pediatric and Adolescent Population.”

What is the purpose of this study?

In this research study, we hope to learn more about the safety and effectiveness of lumbar medial branch blocks in children and adolescents being treated for chronic low back pain at Boston Children’s Hospital. Lumbar medial branch blocks are minimally invasive spine interventions to the lumbar facet joints to address chronic low back pain. They uses steroids and local anesthetics as part of the intervention, which is done under X-ray or ultrasound guidance.

This study is not a trial of a new treatment or medication. It is instead looking at information regarding symptoms, treatment, and recovery, which we will then use to learn more about the safety and effectiveness of lumbar medial branch blocks for the treatment of chronic low back pain.

What does the study involve?

We are collecting information through a survey before and after the patients’ treatment with lumbar medial branch blocks (two weeks after the procedure and then every two weeks for a period of six months). The survey will include questions related to pain, functionality, quality of life, sleep, anxiety, and depression. We will also review the patients’ medical records to learn more about their symptoms, clinical characteristics, and how they responded to the treatments that they received at Boston Children’s.

Your only active participation will involve filling out the web-based questionnaires. This questionnaire should take no longer than 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

Who is eligible?

In order to qualify as a participant in this study, patients must be between the ages of 7 and 18 years and must have tried a previous intervention without meaningful benefit. These could include: a six-week course of physical therapy over the last six months and / or a neuropathic pain prophylactic medication, anti-inflammatory medication, a cognitive-behavioral intervention, or a combination of these. Our goal is to have a minimum of 40 patients participate in this research.

Where can I get more information?

If you have general questions about this research, you can contact the principal investigator, Dr. Dinakar or our research contacts, Yanira Posadas or Kimberly Lobo, at 617-355-7040 or 617-919-6143.