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Spine J. 2003 Mar-Apr;3(2):100-5.

Microscopic lumbar discectomy results for 60 cases in professional and Olympic athletes.

Author information

1
St. Vincent's Medical Center, 2200 West Third Street, 120, Los Angeles, CA 90057-1932, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND CONTEXT:

There is no documented information indicating time for return to play after lumbar discectomy in professional and Olympic athletes.

PURPOSE:

To determine the rate of return to sport and the average time of recovery in elite athletes undergoing microscopic lumbar discectomy (MLD).

STUDY DESIGN:

Between 1984 and 1998, the senior author performed 60 MLDs on 59 professional and Olympic athletes with lumbar herniated nucleus pulposus.

PATIENT SAMPLE:

Sixty consecutive MLDs performed on professional and Olympic athletes were reviewed.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

The rate of return and the average time to return to sport were determined. Also, the distribution of pain and presence of neurologic deficits were recorded.

METHODS:

A retrospective review was performed.

RESULTS:

Follow-up indicated that all but 7 of the 60 cases had returned to their sport, including one who underwent a second MLD for a herniation at an adjacent level. The average time from surgery to return was 5.2 months for the entire group, with a range of 1 to 15 months.

CONCLUSION:

MLD was effective in correcting the problems that forced the athletes to seek help, and the time to return often depends on factors other than their medical condition. Postoperatively, a complete trunk stabilization rehabilitation program was effective in returning these athletes to a high level of competition.

PMID:
14589222
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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