Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Lower back pain and surgery

Literature review discusses herniated disks, treatment options for pain-free living

A literature review, led by Dr. Joseph Lee, published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS) suggests that a herniated disk is one of the most frequent causes of low back and leg pain in adults, but surgery is not for everyone. Between 60 and 80 percent of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives

Disks, which are strong shock absorbers between the vertebrae, can begin to herniate or weaken when their jelly-like nucleus pushes against the outer ring due to aging or a sudden injury. This pressure against the outer ring is often what causes lower back pain.

"Orthopaedic surgeons can help by educating patients about the risks of back surgery and work with the patient to determine the best course of treatment, whether it be surgical or non-surgical," stated review co-author Mark Weidenbaum, MD, Director of Orthopaedic Spine Surgery, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Milstein Pavilion, Columbia University Medical Center, New York.

A herniated disk can sometimes be very painful and most people feel better with just a few months of nonsurgical treatment, which can consist of physical therapy, medications or epidural steroids. However, some patients are treated with a surgical procedure known as a diskectomy.

At least 200,000 diskectomies are performed in the United States each year, and potential diskectomy surgical techniques include:

- conventional open diskectomy ;
- micro-diskectomy; which is the most common technique
- minimally invasive (endoscopic) diskectomy; and
- open diskectomy with fusion.
"The main thing for patients who may be contemplating surgery for back pain is that it must be a mutual decision agreed upon by both doctor and patient. Both parties need to discuss the type of disk herniation and all the potential options for treatment before deciding on surgery," suggested Dr. Weidenbaum.

Many patients find relief after a diskectomy, but approximately 5 percent to 15 percent of patients experience a recurrent disk herniation, defined as back and/or leg pain recurring after a definite pain-free period from the initial surgery, then pain begins again. Treatment for recurrent lumbar disk herniation may include aggressive medical management and surgical intervention.

In addition, the review cited literature indicated that:

- Patients with larger herniations are more likely to experience a recurrence of pain; and

- Patients who had endoscopic surgery (less invasive) may be more likely to experience a recurrence than patients who had a more invasive procedure.

"When a patient has recurring pain, surgeons should perform a complete workup, including an MRI, to learn whether the cause is actually recurrent disk herniation or another problem, such as spinal instability," Weidenbaum notes. "If a patient has spinal instability a revision diskectomy isn't going to help that person—another type of surgery may be needed."

Disclosure: Dr. Weidenbaum or an immediate family member is a member of a speakers' bureau or has made paid presentations on behalf of DePuy, Medtronic Sofamor Danek, and Osteotech, and has received research or institutional support from Arthrex. Dr. Kim or an immediate family member has received research or institutional support from DePuy. None of the following authors or any immediate family member has received anything of value from or owns stock in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article: Dr. Lee, Dr. Amorosa, and Dr. Cho.

Lauren Pearson | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>