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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2010 Sep;112(7):557-62. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2010.03.014. Epub 2010 May 26.

The quality of life of patients after a lumbar microdiscectomy: a four-year monitoring study.

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Vojvodina Clinical Centre, Medical Rehabilitation Clinic, Medical Faculty Novi Sad, Vojvodina, Serbia.



Health-conditioned quality of patients' life is equally a result of their subjective perception of the disease and their objective condition. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the quality of life of surgically treated lumbar radiculopathy patients by using a generic and a lumbar disease-specific questionnaire.


50 patients were evaluated (average age: 44.9 years; 52 male and 48 female). Two questionnaires were used for this purpose: the SF36 generic questionnaire, measuring eight quality of life domains divided into two sub-domains (overall physical and overall mental health), and the NASS LBP lumbar disease-specific questionnaire measuring four domains (pain and disability, motor and sensory neurogenic symptoms, expectations from the treatment and satisfaction with it). The results of the physical domain (SF36-PHYS) are low at the beginning of monitoring (25.7); they increase over the following 6 months (46.4) and drop insignificantly after 4 years (45.9). The mental health value (40.4) remained unchanged as compared to that of the general population. Values of the physical functioning domain reach that of the general population (80.0) after 6 months. Neurogenic symptoms domain results (NASS LBP-NS) do not correlate with other scales and domains. The conclusion is that the quality of life of patients after a lumbar microdiscectomy deteriorates significantly from a physical point of view immediately after it. It normalizes over the following 6 months, though a certain degree of physical damage still remains. Mental health alteration is not specific for lumbar radiculopathy. The neurogenic symptoms domain is the least improved dimension of their quality of life: it is very specific and to be evaluated with a special test set.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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