Original ContributionsOutcome After Chronic Sciatica as the Only Reason for Lumbar MicrodiscectomySchoeggl, A.; Maier, H.; Saringer, W.; Reddy, M.; Matula, C.Author Information Department of Neurosurgery, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria Received January 29, 2002; accepted July 30, 2002. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Andreas Schoeggl, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria. E-mail: [email protected] Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques: October 2002 - Volume 15 - Issue 5 - p 415-419 Buy Abstract There are only a few long-term studies on microsurgical disc operations, and none concentrated on long-term follow-up of therapy-resistant sciatica. A total of 258 patients whose only neurologic symptoms were sciatica were included in this study. Patients were operated on between 1990 and 1997. All outcome results have been performed by an independent reviewer. The mean follow-up period was 7.3 years (range 4–11 years). At follow-up 25% of the patients were free of pain, 66% demonstrated marked improvement, and 9% had either no improvement or worsening of pain. At follow-up 65% of the patients reported returning to their original occupation or being able to go into retirement without hindrance. A total of 15% required changing of profession following discectomy (75% of these patients applying for early retirement were rejected), 6% were incapacitated and unable to work, and 14% were forced into early retirement. Patients with a history of sciatica longer than 3 months acquired failed back surgery syndrome considerably more often than those <3 months (p = 0.005). © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.