Long-term back pain after a single-level discectomy for radiculopathy: incidence and health care cost analysis.
ABSTRACT The most common spinal procedure performed in the US is lumbar discectomy for disc herniation. Longterm disc degeneration and height loss occur in many patients after lumbar discectomy. The incidence of mechanical back pain following discectomy varies widely in the literature, and its associated health care costs are unknown. The authors set out to determine the incidence of and the health care costs associated with mechanical back pain attributed to segmental degeneration or instability at the level of a prior discectomy performed at their institution.
The authors retrospectively reviewed the data for 111 patients who underwent primary, single-level lumbar hemilaminotomy and discectomy for radiculopathy. All diagnostic modalities, conservative therapies, and operative treatments used for the management of postdisectomy back pain were recorded. Institutional billing and accounting records were reviewed to determine the billed costs of all diagnostic and therapeutic measures.
At a mean follow-up of 37.3 months after primary discectomy, 75 patients (68%) experienced minimal to no back pain, 26 (23%) had moderate back pain requiring conservative treatment only, and 10 (9%) suffered severe back pain that required a subsequent fusion surgery at the site of the primary discectomy. The mean cost per patient for conservative treatment alone was $4696. The mean cost per patient for operative treatment was $42,554. The estimated cost of treatment for mechanical back pain associated with postoperative same-level degeneration or instability was $493,383 per 100 cases of first-time, single-level lumbar discectomy ($4934 per primary discectomy).
Postoperative mechanical back pain associated with same-level degeneration is not uncommon in patients undergoing single-level lumbar discectomy and is associated with substantial health care costs.
- SourceAvailable from: Daisuke Sakai[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Lumbar discectomy is the surgical procedure most frequently performed for patients suffering from low back pain and sciatica. Disc herniation as a consequence of degenerative or traumatic processes is commonly encountered as the underlying cause for the painful condition. While discectomy provides favourable outcome in a majority of cases, there are conditions where unmet requirements exist in terms of treatment, such as large disc protrusions with minimal disc degeneration; in these cases, the high rate of recurrent disc herniation after discectomy is a prevalent problem. An effective biological annular repair could improve the surgical outcome in patients with contained disc herniations but otherwise minor degenerative changes. An attractive approach is a tissue-engineered implant that will enable/stimulate the repair of the ruptured annulus. The strategy is to develop three-dimensional scaffolds and activate them by seeding cells or by incorporating molecular signals that enable new matrix synthesis at the defect site, while the biomaterial provides immediate closure of the defect and maintains the mechanical properties of the disc. This review is structured into (1) introduction, (2) clinical problems, current treatment options and needs, (3) biomechanical demands, (4) cellular and extracellular components, (5) biomaterials for delivery, scaffolding and support, (6) pre-clinical models for evaluation of newly developed cell- and material-based therapies, and (7) conclusions. This article highlights that an interdisciplinary approach is necessary for successful development of new clinical methods for annulus fibrosus repair. This will benefit from a close collaboration between research groups with expertise in all areas addressed in this review.European cells & materials 01/2013; 25:1-21. · 4.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: With lumbar discectomy for disc herniation, surgeons must choose between limited nucleus removal associated with higher reherniation risk or more aggressive nucleus removal associated with increased back pain and disc degeneration. This trade-off is particularly challenging in patients with large anular defects, which carry the highest risk of reherniation. We examined the effect of an anular closure device on reherniation and clinical outcomes. METHODS: Seventy-five primary discectomy patients had a limited discectomy followed by implantation of an anular closure device and were followed-up to 2 years. Anular defect size and volume of removed nucleus was recorded at surgery. Reherniations were reported, pain and function were monitored throughout, and imaging was performed at annual visits. RESULTS: The overall symptomatic reherniation rate was 1.4 %, and the asymptomatic reherniation rate was 1.5 % at 12 months and 5.1 % at 24 months. Both rates compare favorably with literature reports which include symptomatic rates ranging between 2 and 18 % (up to 27 % for patients with large anular defects) and an asymptomatic rate of 13 %. CONCLUSIONS: The low reherniation rate in patients at high-risk of reherniation based on anular defect size, despite discectomy being only limited, suggests that an anular closure device may reduce reherniation risk. Clinical outcomes for pain and function at 1 and 2 years post-operatively compared favorably with literature reports. Further study in a randomized controlled trial is required to confirm these results.European Spine Journal 02/2013; · 2.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Lumbar discectomy is an effective treatment for lumbar disc herniation (LDH). Although the majority of patients experience successful outcomes, a significant fraction will experience a recurrence of their back pain due to facet joint degeneration. Facet joint degeneration after discectomy may be the result of excessive nuclear removal, disc space narrowing, and annular injury. This study investigated whether implantation with the Barricaid annular closure device (ACD) during discectomy reduced the rate of facet degeneration. Inclusion criteria were primary lumbar disc herniation failing conservative treatment, Visual Analog Scale (VAS) Leg≥40/100, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI)≥40/100 and defects that were ≤60mm2 (Barricaid arm only), and patient age 18-75. CT interpretations were collected preoperatively and 12 months post-discectomy. Patients implanted with Barricaid had significantly reduced rates and grades of facet degeneration than patients without Barricaid. Reinforcing the annulus fibrosus with Barricaid during lumbar discectomy may slow the progression of facet joint degeneration.Clinical neurology and neurosurgery 03/2013; · 1.30 Impact Factor