Surgery for Herniated Lumbar Disk in Individuals 65 Years of Age or Older: A Multicenter Observational Study | Orthopedics | JAMA Surgery | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
May 2017

Surgery for Herniated Lumbar Disk in Individuals 65 Years of Age or Older: A Multicenter Observational Study

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  • 2Department of Clinical Medicine, University Hospital of Northern Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  • 3Department of Public Health and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  • 4National Advisory Unit on Spinal Surgery, Center for Spinal Disorders, St Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
  • 5Department of Neurosurgery, St Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
JAMA Surg. 2017;152(5):503-506. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.5557

For most patients, the natural course of a herniated lumbar disk is favorable, and the consensus is that surgical treatment is offered if the pain in the lower back and radiating down the legs persists despite a period of conservative treatment.1 Lumbar microdiskectomy is the most common surgical treatment,2 but data on surgical outcomes among elderly patients are limited. The aim of this study was to compare patient-reported outcomes following lumbar microdiskectomy among patients at least 65 years of age vs younger patients.

Data were collected through the Norwegian Registry for Spine Surgery (NORspine), a comprehensive registry for quality control and research.3 Approximately 65% of all patients who undergo lumbar spine surgery in Norway are included in NORspine. The regional committee for medical research approved this study, and all participants provided written informed consent. Patients were eligible if they had a primary diagnosis of lumbar disk herniation and underwent a nonemergency single-level lumbar microdiskectomy between 2007 and 2013. Patients who had undergone previous lumbar spine surgery or had a coexisting spinal deformity were excluded.

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