Ten- to 15-year outcome of surgery for lumbar disc herniation: Radiographic instability and clinical findings

R. Padua, S. Padua, E. Romanini, L. Padua, E. De Santis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The most appropriate treatment for radiculopathy associated with disc pathology is still controversial. Since 1934, surgical treatment has consisted of hemilaminectomy and removal of the herniated material. Many authors believe that these procedures may cause degenerative spondylosis and vertebral instability. Several surgical methods have been proposed, but the long-term effects are still being debated. In addition there appear to be few well-designed outcome studies on the management of this disease. In the present study, 150 patients were selected for surgery with strict criteria and all treated with the standard technique. The series was evaluated by subjective analyses (Roland questionnaire; 120 patients), objective examinations (68 patients - 56.6%) and radiographic studies including dynamic views (analyzed by the Taillard and Boxall methods) to establish the presence of vertebral instability (50 patients - 41.6%). The subjective and objective analyses showed a high rate of good results. Radiographic studies showed vertebral instability in 30 cases, but only 9 were symptomatic. Recurrences were not observed and only a few patients suffered from leg pain. The standard procedure for lumbar disc herniation showed good results at 10- and 15-year follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-74
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Clinical outcome
  • Lumbar disc herniation
  • Questionnaire
  • Surgery
  • Vertebral instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery


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