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Korean J Spine Search


Review of Preoperative Conservative Treatment Period and Evidence of Surgeries for Herniated Lumbar Disc.
Dong Ah Shin, Eun Sang Kim, Seung Chul Rhim
1Department of Neurosurgery, Bundang CHA Hospital, CHA University, Korea.
2Department of Neurosurgery, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
3Department of Neurosurgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. scrhim@amc.seoul.kr
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was 1) to review the length of an adequate period of conservative treatment and the appropriate surgical indications for herniated lumbar disc(HLD), 2) to collate the scientific evidences on surgeries for HLD, and 3) to collect expert opinions on HLD.
We searched for articles in PubMed, the Cochrane Library and KoreaMed up to 1 October 2008, and these articles were concerned with the natural history of HDL, systemic reviews of HDL and expert opinions on HLD. We also searched for meta-analyses and randomized or quasi-randomized controlled trials(RCTs or QRCTs) of surgery for HLD. We performed a meta-analysis using the Cochrane method. The survey consisting of 21 questions was delivered to all the members of the Korean Spinal Neurosurgery Society(KSNS) via E-mail.
A total of 59 articles were included in this study. There were 16 articles concerning the period of conservative management and the surgical indications. Among the 33 articles on surgery for HLD, there were 4 meta-analyses, 27 RCTs, and 2 QRCTs. Among the 938 members of the KSNS, 72 responded to the survey. A minimum of 1 to 3 months of conservative management was the most preferred answer(58%), followed by a conservative management period of less than 1 month(33%). Percutaneous endoscopic discectomy was more preferred by the hospitals that specialized in spinetreatment than by the university hospitals(p<0.05).
Conservative management for a minimum of 2 weeks to 3 months is recommended for patients with tolerable pain only. The patients with neurological compromise or intolerable pain should be considered for surgery. There is strong evidence on the relative effectiveness of surgical discectomy versus chemonucleolysis versus placebo. There is no scientific evidence on the effectiveness of any other form of minimally invasive procedure.
Keywords: Herniated lumbar disc;Evidence-based medicine;Natural history;Surgery

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