Clinical outcomes after lumbar spine microdiscectomy: a 5-year follow-up prospective study in 100 patients
To evaluate the effect of lumbar microdiscectomy (LM) in pain, disability and quality of life in a 5-year period and to identify potential demographic and clinical risk factors.
One hundred patients who underwent LM by the same surgeon participated in this prospective study. Clinical assessment was made with validated questionnaires preoperatively and up to 5 years postoperatively. Subsequently, associations between clinical outcomes and demographic data were recorded.
In every assessment questionnaire, there was a significant improvement in the first postoperative month, which lasted up to 1 year post-discectomy. After that, improvement was statistically significant (p < 0.05) but without clinical importance. Women reported more pain preoperatively and 1 month after surgery. Urban residents also presented more pain preoperatively. Older patients had more pain, disability and worse quality of life 1–5 years postoperatively. Similarly, patients with lower education presented the worst scores in every questionnaire at the same time. Smokers reported less pain 1.5–4 postoperative years. Higher alcohol consumption and obesity were associated with lower levels of preoperative pain. However, obese patients had worse SF-36 and ODI scores after the 6th postoperative month. Patients with heavy jobs presented the worst preoperative ODI scores.
Significant clinical improvement was recorded from the first postoperative month to the first postoperative year; stabilization was noticed later on. Feminine gender, urban residency, older age, low level of education, obesity and heavy physical occupation were negative prognostic factors. Oddly smoking and alcohol were correlated with less pain.
KeywordsLumbar microdiscectomy Clinical improvement Demographic risk factors
Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test
Body mass index
Lumbar disc herniation
Magnetic resonance imaging
Oswestry Disability Index
Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire
Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial
Statistical Package for Social Sciences
Visual analogue scale
World Health Organization
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Authors Ioannis D Gelalis, Evangelos I Papanastasiou, Emilios E Pakos, Avraam Ploumis, Dimitrios V Papadopoulos, Maria Mantzari, Ioannis S. Gkiatas, Marios D. Vekris and Anastasios V. Korompilias declare that they do not have any conflict of interest.
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