Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Neurosurg. 2000 Jun;14(3):195-9.

Assessing outcome in lumbar disc surgery using patient completed measures.

Author information

Academic Department of Neurosurgery, University of Cambridge, UK.


Measuring outcome after spinal surgery is difficult. The objective of this study was to assess the use of four measures in establishing outcome in patients undergoing lumbar discectomy. Forty-six consecutive patients who had undergone two operations for lumbar disc prolapse and 54 patients who had undergone one operation for the same condition over the same period were identified. The SF-36 questionnaire was used to assess general health. The Roland-Morris questionnaire and a simple modification of the Roland-Morris questionnaire were used to assess back and leg related disability, respectively. Analogue pain scales were used to measure back pain and sciatica. The SF-36 scores revealed significantly worse health status in the two operation compared with the one operation patients and in all patients compared with the normal population. Using the Roland-Morris and the leg disability questionnaires, patients who had undergone two operations reported significantly worse disability (Roland-Morris, 53%, poor outcome) than those who had undergone one operation (Roland-Morris, 19%, poor outcome). There was significantly greater back disability than leg disability in both groups of patients and this was confirmed by the analogue pain scales. In patients who had undergone two operations, 25% classified their back pain as very bad or unbearable, and 22.5% described very bad or unbearable leg pain. For the one operation patients these figures were 9.5 and 2.4%, respectively. The results demonstrate that both generic and condition specific patient completed measures have the potential to detect differences in outcome between patients who have undergone either one or two lumbar disc operations. The study provides support for the use of these patient completed measures in assessing outcome in lumbar disc surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center