Level 3, cohort study.
The aim of this study was to assess long-term clinical outcome
, and rate of reoperation
following microsurgical subtotal discectomy
Summary of Background Data.
Lumbar disc herniation
(LDH) is a common cause of discomfort. Studies with >25 years of follow-up are rare and the reported rate of clinical success and reoperation
are not well understood.
Retrospectively, files with complete documentation of preoperative and postoperative neurological status, process during hospitalization, detailed report of MSD, outpatient visit notes, and full contact information of patients who underwent MSD for the treatment of LDH with a minimum follow-up of 25 years were reviewed. Patients were contacted for personal follow-up assessment which included Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), EQ-5D, and MacNab criteria, usage of pain medication for leg and back pain, limitations in daily life, and repeated procedures at the lumbar spine
A total of 355 patients were randomly selected and contacted for final follow-up and 158 patients with a mean follow-up 32 years participated in the study. Clinical success rate was 86.0%, mean ODI was 9% (0–58%), 69.6% of the patients were pain free, 13.9% of patients reported the daily intake of pain medication for back and leg pain. Reoperations were performed in 47 of the patients (29.7%), whereas the rate for recurrent disc herniation
at the same level was 8.2%. Reoperation
within the first 2 years after initial MSD had negative influence on clinical success. The preoperative physical working status and sex and working status had no influence on the clinical success.
The MSD is an effective technique to achieve a high rate of patient satisfaction, and high rate of functional recovery. The overall reoperation
rate is 30% within 30 years but only 8.2% of the patients underwent reoperation
because of recurrent disc herniation
at the same level.
Level of Evidence: 3