The effect of standard lumbar discectomy on segmental motion: 5-year follow-up using radiostereometry
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CitationInt Orthop 2005, 29(2):83-7
AbstractWe measured the effects of lumbar discectomy on segmental motion over a period of 5 years. Twenty-four patients with lumbar disc herniation were treated by standard lumbar discectomy at the L4-L5 or L5-S1 level. Peroperatively, tantalum markers were inserted into L4, L5, and the sacrum. Radiostereometric analysis was performed at discharge from hospital and 5 years postoperatively. The treated level was compared with the corresponding untreated level. Thus, patients who had discectomy at the L4-L5 level served as controls for patients with L5-S1 lesions and vice versa. The relative rotation and translation in relation to the three cardinal axes were calculated. Inducible displacements over the two discs were calculated between the supine and standing positions. At the L4-L5 level, there were no differences in inducible displacements between the operated and control levels at discharge or 5 years postoperatively. At the L5-S1 level we found decreasing inducible movement in the sagittal plane over time for discectomy patients. The reason for decreasing mobility over time after discectomy at the L5-S1 but not at the L4-L5 level is unknown. Mechanical factors caused by the more vertical orientation of the L5-S1 disc in combination with degenerative changes could be one explanation.
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