Biomarker useful in testing effectiveness of back pain treatment A new study from researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine has identified a unique protein complex that can be used for predicting whether an epidural steroid injection will help relieve pain caused by a herniated disc in the lower spin.

Gaetano Scuderi, MD, a clinical assistant professor of orthopedic surgery was the senior author of the study to be published in the Aug. 15 edition of Spine.

“There’s about a 50-50 chance that the epidural steroid will work, so most people figure, ‘Hey, I have nothing to lose,’” Scuderi said. “However, there is a significant expense, not to mention the procedural risks and lost productivity.”