Author(s): Kotilainen E, Valtonen S, Carlson CA
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Abstract We have reviewed retrospectively the results of 237 consecutive patients who underwent microsurgical discectomy for a virgin lumbar disc herniation. Included were 128 (54\%) mean and 109 (46\%) women, with the mean age of 42 years. Intra-operatively, protrusion was found in 60 (25\%) patients, prolapse in 127 (54\%) patients and sequestration in 50 (21\%) patients. The median post-operative follow-up time was 2 years. During the observation period, sciatic pain had completely recovered or markedly diminished in 218 (92\%) patients, and 187 (79\%) patients had returned to work. The mean duration of preoperative sciatica was 3.8 months in those patients who finally returned to work. In contrast, it was as long as 6.3 months in those patients who lost their working capacity as a consequence of low back pain. The patients operated on for a prolapse or a sequestrum recovered better than those who underwent surgery for a protrusion. Of the patients operated on for a protrusion, 68\% returned to work, while 76\% of those operated on for a sequestrum and 85\% of those operated on for a prolapse returned to work during the follow-up. Difference was seen also in the occupational outcome: only 37\% of the patients operated on for a protrusion reported to manage their work well, while 47\% of those with a prolapse and 58\% of those with a sequestrum managed well. Surgical complications were infrequent in this study. Dural tear appeared in 10 (4\%) patients and post-operative discitis in 4 (1.7\%) patients. Of all patients, 9 (4\%) required re-operation for a true recurrent disc.
This article was published in Acta Neurochir (Wien)
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation