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October 16, 1967

Herniated Disks and Related Disorders of the Lumbar Spine: Surgical Treatment in the Geriatric Patient

Author Affiliations

From the divisions of neurosurgery (Drs. J. Epstein and Carras) and orthopedic surgery (Dr. Lavine) and the Department of Radiology (Dr. B. Epstein), Long Island Jewish Hospital, New Hyde Park, NY; the Department of Neurosurgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY (Drs. J. Epstein and Carras); and the Division of Neurosurgery, North Shore Hospital, Manhasset, NY (Drs. J. Epstein and Carras).

JAMA. 1967;202(3):187-190. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130160061010

Twenty-six patients, 65 years of age and older, were studied for symptoms of nerve root compression caused by herniated disks, spondyloarthrosis, and developmental narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal. Both primary and metastatic neoplasms present the essential problems in differential diagnosis. Myelography is mandatory. These patients tolerate decompressive laminectomy and foramenotomy with removal of disks and osteophytes with no unusual risk or morbidity. Eighty percent achieve adequate and lasting relief. Protracted periods of conservative care exhausting the patients' resources are not justified.