Surgical results in patients with chronic low back pain who failed multidisciplinary rehabilitation with cognitive intervention


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A Master's thesis.
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Master (thesis) (master)
Surgical results in patients with chronic low back pain who failed multidisciplinary rehabilitation with cognitive intervention
Chevallier J.-L.
Schizas C.
Kulik G.
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
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Introduction¦Surgery for chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a controversial topic. One randomized controlled¦trial (RCT) showed superiority of surgery to physiotherapy only, whereas two more RCTs¦failed to show that surgery was better than multidisciplinary rehabilitation including cognitive¦intervention. The latter is therefore regarded as the golden standard of conservative¦treatment and in our unit it is whenever possible offered to patients prior to lumbar surgery¦for CLBP.¦The objective of this study was to compare results of lumbar surgery between one group of¦patients who failed to improve despite such rehabilitation and a second group of patients who¦underwent surgery following usual conservative therapies. Our hypothesis is that patients¦who failed such a comprehensive treatment would respond poorly to surgery.¦Patients and Methods¦43 patients (age 41.2±8.1 years, number of men 20) were operated between 2003 and 2009¦by a single surgeon for CLBP due to degenerative disc disease (36) or isthmic¦spondylolisthesis (7). Patients with sciatica or neurological abnormalities were excluded.¦Seventeen (40%) patients were operated having failed to improve following the¦aforementioned rehabilitation programme (Surgery following rehabilitation group) whereas¦the remaining 26 (60%) were operated having failed to improve with physiotherapy of varying¦intensity (Surgery following physiotherapy group). Oswestry disability index (ODI) pre¦operatively and at 2 years following surgery was prospectively evaluated. Fisher's exact test¦was used to compare groups.¦Results¦At two years following surgery, with an average follow up of 22 month, a 15 points ODI¦improvement was achieved for 9 (53%) patients of the surgery following rehabilitation group¦and in 15 (58%) patients of the surgery following physiotherapy group (p=1.0). A 50% ODI¦improvement was observed for 6 (35%) and 12 (46%) patients respectively (p=0.54).¦Discussion¦The main finding of this study was that surgery following failed multidisciplinary rehabilitation¦yields similar results to those of patients who only received usual physiotherapy treatment for¦CLBP prior to surgery. But surprisingly we found that it is possible with surgery to improve¦the quality of life of those CLBP sufferers who failed to respond to a comprehensive¦rehabilitation program and with a similar success rate to those reported in other series.¦But rehabilitation should still be offered as a treatment option in all CLBP patients prior to¦surgery, given that it is devoid of complications and that it will spare the need of surgery to a¦significant proportion of CLBP patients while not compromising surgical results in the¦remaining subjects who failed to improve.
Chronic low back pain, surgery, Oswestry disability index
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05/06/2012 10:38
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20/08/2019 16:03
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