Observations on the natural history of massive lumbar disc herniation. J Bone Joint Surg Br

Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital NHS Trust, Oswestry, England, United Kingdom
The Bone & Joint Journal (Impact Factor: 3.31). 07/2007; 89(6):782-4. DOI: 10.1302/0301-620X.89B6.18712
Source: PubMed


We have treated 15 patients with massive lumbar disc herniations non-operatively. Repeat MR scanning after a mean 24 months (5 to 56) showed a dramatic resolution of the herniation in 14 patients. No patient developed a cauda equina syndrome. We suggest that this condition may be more benign than previously thought.

    • "Cribb et al.,14 reported 15 massive LDH patients (disc material occupying >50% of the spinal canal) with nonoperative treatment. Repeat MR scanning after a mean 2 years showed a resolution of the herniation in 14 patients. "
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    ABSTRACT: Large lumbar disc herniation (LDH) has been reported to have a greater tendency to resolve in clinical and pathomorphological evolutions. However, various definitions of large LDH have been used without validation, and the clinical symptoms of large LDH have not been fully elucidated. We conducted a retrospective analysis to determine the clinical characteristics and treatment outcome of massive LDH with complete dural sac stenosis. We retrospectively reviewed 33 cases of LDH with complete dural sac stenosis on magnetic resonance imaging. Complete dural sac stenosis was defined as no recognizable rootlet and cerebrospinal fluid signal on T2-weighed axial MR images. The clinical outcome parameters included back pain, leg pain, Oswestry disability index (ODI), and neurological dysfunction. The paired t-test and Wilcoxon's signed rank test were used to compare serial changes in back pain, leg pain and neurological dysfunction. Mean duration of followup was 66 months (range 24 - 108 months). There were 24 male and 9 female. The mean age was 37 years (range 20 - 53 years). At presentation, mean visual analogue scales for back pain and leg pain were 75.3 ± 19.1 (range 12 - 100) and 80.2 ± 14.6 (range 0 -100), respectively. Mean ODI was 67.1 ± 18.8 (range 26 - 88). Neurological dysfunction was found in 9 patients (27.3%), and the bowel/bladder dysfunction was found in 2 patients (3.1%). Conservative treatment was performed in 21 patients (63.6%) with satisfactory results. Seven patients underwent decompressive surgery, and 5 underwent posterolateral fusion. A massive LDH with complete dural sac stenosis was found to be associated with severe back and leg pain at presentation, however surgical treatment can be deferred unless significant neurological symptoms occur.
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    • "Cervical disc herniation is known to resolve spontaneously in the same way as lumbar disc herniation [11]. In Case 2, the herniation was enhanced on an MRI scan after Gd-DTPA administration, indicating that spontaneous resolution could be anticipated, and muscle strength improved within a week after admission. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction The development of a symptomatic herniated cervical disc before the age of 20 is extremely rare. Sporadically reported cases of patients with cervical disc herniation under the age of 20 usually have had underlying disease. Case presentation Case 1: A 19-year-old Asian man visited our clinic and presented with progressive pain in his upper left scapula and weakness of the left deltoid and biceps brachii muscles. C5 radiculopathy by soft disc herniation at C4-C5 without calcification was diagnosed. Microsurgical posterior foraminotomy was performed and he recovered completely eight weeks after the surgery. Case 2: A 15-year-old Asian man presented with difficulty in lifting his arm and neck pain on the right side. Neurological examination showed weakness of the right deltoid and biceps brachii muscles. A magnetic resonance imaging scan demonstrated a herniated intervertebral disc in the right C4-C5 foramen. The patient was treated conservatively and put under observation only, and had completely recovered eight weeks after admission. Conclusion Although extremely rare, symptomatic cervical disc herniations may occur even in the younger population under the age of 20 without any trauma or underlying disease. Favorable outcomes can be achieved by conventional treatments for cervical disc herniation.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Journal of Medical Case Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are the most widely utilized pain management procedure in the world, their use supported by more than 45 placebo-controlled studies and dozens of systematic reviews. Despite the extensive literature on the subject, there continues to be considerable controversy surrounding their safety and efficacy. The results of clinical trials and review articles are heavily influenced by specialty, with those done by interventional pain physicians more likely to yield positive findings. Overall, more than half of controlled studies have demonstrated positive findings, suggesting a modest effect size lasting less than 3 months in well-selected individuals. Transforaminal injections are more likely to yield positive results than interlaminar or caudal injections, and subgroup analyses indicate a slightly greater likelihood for a positive response for lumbar herniated disk, compared with spinal stenosis or axial spinal pain. Other factors that may increase the likelihood of a positive outcome in clinical trials include the use of a nonepidural (eg, intramuscular) control group, higher volumes in the treatment group, and the use of depo-steroid. Serious complications are rare following ESIs, provided proper precautions are taken. Although there are no clinical trials comparing different numbers of injections, guidelines suggest that the number of injections should be tailored to individual response, rather than a set series. Most subgroup analyses of controlled studies show no difference in surgical rates between ESI and control patients; however, randomized studies conducted by spine surgeons, in surgically amenable patients with standardized operative criteria, indicate that in some patients the strategic use of ESI may prevent surgery.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · Regional anesthesia and pain medicine
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