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What are the Risk Factors Associated with Recurrent Lumbar Disc Herniation After Discectomy

Not many reports address whether LSTV (Lumbosacral transitional vertebrae) has a link with LDH (Lumbar disc herniation). A study 1, in the journal International Orthopedics, was conducted to rectify that. The results showed that LSTV and a hypermobile disc in flexion-extension radiography were risk factors for recurrent LDH.

What was the Context?

Reports show that LDH is a common complication following discectomy. The reported frequency has been observed to be up to 21%. The previous operation site was where the recurrence was the most frequent. Patients were likely to experience pain in the legs and back. They might even require revision surgery.

There’s still controversy present with regards to the risk factors associated with recurrent LDH. There are a lot of conflicting results. While gender, age, obesity, and smoking status are considered risks, radiological factors might be risk factors, too. These factors include disc degeneration, larger sagittal range of motion (SROM) in flexion-extension radiography, and larger disc height.

The Study

The current study investigated numerous risk factors for LDH following discectomy. The study involved a total of 119 participants. All of them had undergone a discectomy for L4-5 disc herniation. The minimum follow-up was of two years.

The study evaluated a range of risk factors. The clinical parameters involved body mass index, smoking status, and gender. The radiological parameters were LSTV, degree of disc degeneration, SROM, and type of herniated disc.

Disc Herniation

What were the Results?

The results showed that 21 of the participants had recurrent disc herniation at L4-5. From the 21 patients, 11 had LSTV. Seven patients had LSTV in the 98 patients from the non-recurrent group. The study shared that it had confirmed LSTV and a larger SROM being significant risk factors at L4-5 (for recurrent disc herniation).

What does it Mean?

The current study, deemed to be the first of its kind, concluded that LSTV and a hypermobile disc in flexion-extension radiography were indeed risk factors for recurrent LDH. The current data can offer beneficial knowledge for future research.