A Master's thesis.
Master (thesis) (master)
Surgical results in patients with chronic low back pain who failed multidisciplinary rehabilitation with cognitive intervention
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
Number of pages
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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