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Eur Spine J. 2019 Jul 9. doi: 10.1007/s00586-019-06056-4. [Epub ahead of print]

Decreased tibial nerve movement in patients with failed back surgery syndrome and persistent leg pain.

Author information

1
School of Sport, Health and Wellbeing, Plymouth Marjon University, Plymouth, PL6 8BH, UK. gshum@marjon.ac.uk.
2
Exeter Spinal Unit, Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK. gshum@marjon.ac.uk.
3
School of Sport, Health and Wellbeing, Plymouth Marjon University, Plymouth, PL6 8BH, UK.
4
Exeter Spinal Unit, Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK.
5
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
6
Department of Anaesthesia, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Middlesbrough, UK.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To measure and compare the total and normalised tibial nerve movements during forward bending in patients with and without failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) and persistent leg pain following anatomically successful lumbar decompression surgery and demonstrated no psychological stress. Nerve pathomechanics may contribute to FBSS with persistent leg pain following anatomically successful lumbar decompression surgery.

METHODS:

Tibial nerve movement during forward bending was measured in two groups of patients following anatomically successful lumbar decompression surgery. FBSS group (N = 37) consisted of patients with persistent leg pain following lumbar surgery, and non-FBSS (N = 37) were patients with no remaining leg pain following lumbar surgery. Total and normalised tibial nerve movement at the popliteal fossa was measured by a previously validated ultrasound imaging technique and compared between the two groups, and also between the painful and non-painful leg within the FBSS group.

RESULTS:

Both the mean total and normalised tibial nerve movement were significantly decreased in the FBSS group in both legs when compared to the non-FBSS group (P < 0.05). The total and normalised tibial nerve movements were also more restricted in the painful leg (P < 0.05) when compared to the non-painful side within the FBSS group.

CONCLUSION:

This was the first study to quantify the decreased total and normalised tibial nerve mobility in FBSS patients with persistent leg pain when compared with non-FBSS patients following anatomically successful lumbar decompression surgery. Further research could investigate the efficacy of intervention, such as nerve mobilisation in this particular group of patients with failed back surgery syndrome and limited nerve mobility. These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.

KEYWORDS:

Failed back surgery syndrome; Nerve movement; Neuropathic pain; Post-operative pain; Sciatica

PMID:
31290026
DOI:
10.1007/s00586-019-06056-4

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