Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lower back pain and surgery: Literature review discusses herniated disks, treatment options for pain-free living

Date:
June 28, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Summary:
A new review 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.

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

Related Articles


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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Lower back pain and surgery: Literature review discusses herniated disks, treatment options for pain-free living." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628170930.htm>.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2010, June 28). Lower back pain and surgery: Literature review discusses herniated disks, treatment options for pain-free living. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628170930.htm
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Lower back pain and surgery: Literature review discusses herniated disks, treatment options for pain-free living." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628170930.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins