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Int Disabil Stud. 1990 Jul-Sep;12(3):107-12.

Clinical, social, and psychological factors and outcome in a 5-year follow-up study of 276 patients hospitalized because of suspected lumbar disc herniation.

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  • 1Rehabilitation Research Centre, Social Insurance Institution, Turku, Finland.


The study consisted of 276 patients who were hospitalized between 1980 and 1982 because of suspected lumbar disc herniation. No randomization of treatment was used. On the basis of clinical indications 179 patients were operated on and 97 had further conservative treatment. Results of physical, social, and psychological examinations performed after 1 year were related to the 5-year outcome defined by occupation handicap of the WHO system. For operated patients, subjective working incapacity, sensory deficit of leg, tightness of hamstrings, age, and pain in lumbar extension predicted a poor outcome. Predictive factors for non-operated patients were increased occurrence of occupational hazards and co-morbidity.

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