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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1987 Apr;12(3):305-7.

Lumbar laminectomy for herniated disc: a prospective controlled comparison with internal fixation fusion.


This is a controlled prospective study on a matched set of patients with herniated lumbar discs. Both groups received the same bilateral lumbar laminectomy and disc excision by the same surgeon. One group had the addition of an intertransverse fusion with internal fixation. Both groups were studied by an independent examiner at an average of 3 years postoperatively for success rate as determined by activity level, medication, subjective and objective evaluation. Both groups had similar age, sex, and occupational characteristics. No patient had prior surgical treatment or chemonucleolysis. Patients with associated lumbar spine problems such as stenosis, instability, or spondylolisthesis were excluded. Each patient had a positive clinical picture for a herniated lumbar disc, as well as a positive myelogram, venogram or computerized tomographic scan. Most had positive electromyograms. All patients received at least 3 months of conservative care. The 38 patients with fusion had a significantly longer mean time to return to work after surgery versus the 31 patients without fusion. Although the general success rate of both groups was 87%, the best results were in the nonfusion group. A total of 29% of nonfusions had excellent results whereas only 11% of the fusion group had excellent results. The conclusion is that fusions are not necessary and give less excellent results in simple laminectomy cases for herniated lumbar disc.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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