Lumbar Discectomy and Reoperation Among Workers' Compensation Cases in Florida and New York: Are Treatment Trends Similar to Other Payer Types?

J Occup Environ Med. 2020 Sep;62(9):e478-e484. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001943.


Objective: The aim of this study was to better understand current treatment trends and revision rates for lumbar disc herniation (LDH) in the workers' compensation (WC) population compared with other payer types.

Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of outpatient claims data from Florida and New York during 2014 to 2016.

Results: WC patients were less likely to undergo discectomy in Florida (15% vs 19%; P < 0.001) and New York (10% vs 15%; P < 0.001). The odds of WC patients undergoing revision discectomy were 1.5 times greater than patients covered by private payers or all other non-WC payers (P = 0.002).

Conclusions: WC patients undergo discectomy significantly less often than non-WC counterparts, which may be related to a higher risk of reoperation. New evidence-based treatments, such as annular repair, may be critical to advancing care in this unique population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diskectomy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Florida
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery
  • New York
  • Reoperation* / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Workers' Compensation*