Better results from disk herniation surgery after a short period of sick leave

Jun 14, 2010

Back pain and leg pain may be caused by lumbar disk herniation. It may be necessary to treat the condition by surgery, if it persists. Patients who have a short period of sick leave before the surgery are more satisfied with the result of the procedure than those who are off work sick longer. This is the conclusion of a thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

"The aim of the work described in the thesis was to discover factors that influence the result of surgery and to identify which patients have the greatest benefit of surgery", says Katarina Silverplats, doctor at the Department of Orthopaedics at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and researcher at the Department of Orthopaedics at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

A total of 183 patients were studied, and they were followed for up to 10 years after the surgery.

"One thing we found was that over 60% of the patients were still satisfied with the result of the surgery between 2 and 10 years afterwards, and nearly all had an improved quality of life than they had had before it", says Katarina Silverplats.

One surprising result was that patients who had been off work sick less than 2 months before the surgery were more satisfied with the result than those who had been off work a longer period. For example, approximately seven out of ten patients who had had a short period of were able to return to full employment, while the corresponding figure for those who had been off work more than 6 months was as low as one in four.

The mean age of patients who suffer from disk herniation is just over 40 years, and this group of patients is active in the labour market. It is therefore important that treatment starts as soon as possible.

"If it is decided that surgery is the preferred treatment for a particular patient, the procedure should be carried out within 2-3 months, in order to achieve as good as result as possible and the possibility of a rapid return to work. This requires a well-functioning healthcare system without long queues", says Katarina Silverplats.

Explore further: New drug sales help boost Novartis Q1 profit (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nasal surgery helps transsexuals

Sep 20, 2007

British scientists say transsexuals undergoing male-to-female gender reassignment report satisfaction with surgery to create a more feminine-appearing nose.

Poor treatment for common vertebral compression fractures

Apr 23, 2009

The advice and treatment given to patients with vertebral compression fractures is not satisfactory. A thesis presented at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that the majority of patients still ...

Surgery may not be necessary for Achilles tendon rupture

May 14, 2009

The two ends of a ruptured Achilles tendon are often stitched together before the leg is put in plaster, in order to reduce the risk of the tendon rupturing again. However, Katarina Nilsson Helander, MD, PhD at the Sahlgrenska ...

Surgery for severe obesity saves lives

Aug 23, 2007

An extensive swedish study from the Sahlgrenska Academy has established that surgery reduces premature death in patients with severe obesity. A long-term follow up has shown that mortality is significantly lower among patients ...

Recommended for you

Amgen misses 1Q views as higher costs cut profit

Apr 22, 2014

Despite higher sales, biotech drugmaker Amgen's first-quarter profit fell 25 percent as production and research costs rose sharply, while the year-ago quarter enjoyed a tax benefit. The company badly missed ...

Valeant, Ackman make $45.6B Allergan bid

Apr 22, 2014

Valeant Pharmaceuticals and activist investor Bill Ackman have unveiled details of their offer to buy Botox maker Allergan, proposing a cash-and-stock deal that could be worth about $45.6 billion.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers trace HIV adaptation to its human host

"Much research has focused on how HIV adapts to antiviral drugs – we wanted to investigate how HIV adapts to us, its human host, over time," says lead author Zabrina Brumme from Simon Fraser University.