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Comparative Study
. 2013 Oct;155(10):1931-6.
doi: 10.1007/s00701-013-1828-4. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

Comparison of Early and Late Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy for Lumbar Disc Herniation

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Comparative Study

Comparison of Early and Late Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy for Lumbar Disc Herniation

Hongwei Wang et al. Acta Neurochir (Wien). .

Abstract

Background: The optimal timing for percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD) in cases of lumbar disc herniation (LDH) is debatable. This retrospective study sought to determine which category of PELD surgical intervention time resulted in greater improvement in clinical outcomes.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 145 patients who underwent PELD for single-level LDH. The patients were divided into three categories according to the duration of leg pain before surgery, the early and late group being symptomatic for ≤3 months and >3 months, ≤6 months and >6 months, ≤12 months and >12 months. Surgical time, blood loss, postoperative hospital stay, hospitalization cost, rates of reoperation due to surgical failure, Macnab criteria assessment, visual analogue scale (VAS) of back pain, leg pain and numbness, Japanese orthopedic association low back pain score (JOA) before and after surgery were compared.

Results: No significant differences were found between the early and late groups according to different categories in patients' demographics, surgical time, blood loss, preoperative and postoperative VAS (lower-back pain, leg pain and numbness) scores, JOA scores and distribution of Macnab criteria assessment. Early PELD surgical intervention did not result in greater improvement of clinical outcomes. Later surgical intervention resulted in about one-third surgical failure rates for patients being symptomatic for >6 months (≤6 months, 11/96, 11.5 %; >6 months, 2/49, 4.1 %; P = 0.245) and >12 months (≤12 months, 12/120, 10.0 %; >12 months, 1/25, 4.0 %; P = 0.568) of the early surgical intervention groups. Significant difference was observed between the comorbidities and non-comorbidities group in the rate of reoperation (P = 0.040).

Conclusions: Early PELD surgical intervention did not result in greater improvement of clinical outcomes for patients with lumbar disc herniation. Later surgical intervention resulted in less failure rates for patients than the early surgical intervention groups. PELD performed when the leg pain before surgery being symptomatic for >6 months may be good for avoiding surgical failure and reducing the duration of leg pain.

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