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Asian Spine J. 2014 Apr;8(2):211-5. doi: 10.4184/asj.2014.8.2.211. Epub 2014 Apr 8.

Risk factors for recurrent lumbar disc herniations.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Spine Center, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The most common complication after lumbar discectomy is reherniation. As the first step in reducing the rate of recurrence, many studies have been conducted to find out the factors that may increase the reherniation risk. Some reported factors are age, sex, the type of lumbar disc herniation, the amount of fragments removed, smoking, alcohol consumption and the length of restricted activities. In this review, the factors studied thus far are summarized, excepting factors which cannot be chosen or changed, such as age or sex. Apart from the factors shown here, many other risk factors such as diabetes, family history, history of external injury, duration of illness and body mass index are considered. Few are agreed upon by all. The reason for the diverse opinions may be that many clinical and biomechanical variables are involved in the prognosis following operation. For the investigation of risk factors in recurrent lumbar disc herniation, large-scale multicenter prospective studies will be required in the future.


Herniated disc; Lumbar region; Recurrence; Risk factors

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