A 1969 study of 30 patients with increased ICP who deteriorated after LP attempted to identify the clinical features of patients who were at greatest risk for this complication [ 59 ]. The following findings were noted: 73 percent had focal findings on neurologic examination (including dysphagia, hemiparesis, and cranial nerve palsies); 30 percent had documented papilledema prior to the LP; and 30 percent had evidence of increased ICP on plain skull films (erosion of the posterior clinoid processes). Deterioration occurred immediately in one-half of the patients, with the remainder declining within 12 hours.
High dosages of oral corticosteroids taken daily for prolonged periods of time can have serious systemic side effects including bone loss ( osteoporosis), increased risk of infections and diabetes and cataracts, thinning of skin, stretch marks, increased facial/body hair growth, acne, fluid retention, weight gain with redistribution of fat (fat deposits on back and face, thinning of limbs), muscle weakness, decreased resistance to infections, stomach ulcers, mood swings, insomnia, suppression of the body's own production of cortisol, etc.
If excellent pain relief is obtained from the first epidural injection, there will be no need to repeat it. If there is a partial benefit (greater than 30% relief from pain) the epidural injection can be repeated for possible additional benefit, or it may be necessary to conduct additional tests to more accurately determine what is causing the patient's pain. Up to three epidural steroid injections may be performed within a one-year period, spaced at least two to four weeks apart. If the initial injection provides minimal benefit (less than 30% pain relief) the physician may either repeat the injection, or try a different type of injection or treatment.