Surgical treatment of lumbar disk prolapse. A 20-year material.

Fiane AE, Bugge W, Odegard O, Kleven H. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1992 Jan 30;112(3):325-7.

Surgery for herniated lumbar discs was performed on approximately 700 patients during the period 1963-83. 500 patients with a median observation of 13.5 years (5-25 years) were included in a follow-up study by reviewing journals and using a questionnaire. 35 of these patients (7%) had an acute operation. 398 patients (79.6%) were satisfied with the operation. There was a high positive correlation between the radiologic and peroperative findings and few complications after operation. 59 patients (11.8%) were reoperated and 94 patients (18.8%) were later hospitalized without operation because of lumbar pain. We conclude that patients who are to have surgery must be carefully selected, and that patients should be informed about the degenerative process, and the marked possibility of residual or repeated herniation and continuing lumbar pain.