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Comprehensive comparison of therapeutic efficacy of radiofrequency target disc decompression and nucleoplasty for lumbar disc herniation: a five year follow-up



To compare the therapeutic efficacy of radiofrequency target disc decompression(TDD) and nucleoplasty for lumbar disc herniation.


Two hundred sixty patients with lumbar disc herniation were divided into two groups: target disc decompression group (group T, n = 147) and nucleoplasty group (group N, n = 113). Visual analogue scale (VAS) and functional rating index (FRI) were measured at one, three, six, 12, 24, and 60 months after the surgery. Hospitalization time, operation time, complications, and recurrence/invalid were compared between the two groups.


Compared with the pre-operation, the VAS and FRI in both groups were significantly decreased in post-operation(P < 0.01). The VAS and FRI in group T have no significant difference compared to those in group N. The hospitalization and operation time of group T were significantly longer than those in group N. There was no significant difference of the occurrence of complications and disease recurrence/invalid during the follow-up between the two groups. Logstic regression analysis showed that operation time was an independent factor in the prognosis. Operation time affects the treatment effect. Shorter operation time leads to better therapeutic efficacy, and longer operation time leads to poor therapeutic efficacy.


Both TDD and nucleoplasty can reduce pain in patients with lumbar disc herniation and improve quality of life. Group N had shorter hospitalization and operation time than group T.

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Correspondence to Yong-xiao Cao.

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This study was approved by the ethics committee of First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Nie, Hy., Qi, Yb., Li, N. et al. Comprehensive comparison of therapeutic efficacy of radiofrequency target disc decompression and nucleoplasty for lumbar disc herniation: a five year follow-up. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) 42, 843–849 (2018).

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