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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2004 May;86(4):546-9.

Predictive value of the duration of sciatica for lumbar discectomy. A prospective cohort study.

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  • 1Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, England, UK.

Abstract

The optimum timing of lumbar discectomy for sciatica is imprecise. We have investigated a number of prognostic factors in relation to the outcome of radiculopathy after lumbar discectomy. We recruited 113 consecutive patients of whom 103 (91%) were followed up at one year. We found a significant association between the duration of radiculopathy and the changes in the Oswestry Disability Index score (p = 0.005) and the low back outcome score (p = 0.03). Improvement in pain was independent of all variables. Patients with an uncontained herniated disc had a shorter duration of symptoms and a better functional outcome than those with a contained herniation. Our study suggests that patients with sciatica for more than 12 months have a less favourable outcome. We detected no variation in the results for patients operated on in whom the duration of sciatica was less than 12 months.

PMID:
15174551
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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