Microdiscectomy in the treatment of lumbar disc herniation.

V. Salvi, E. Boux, G. Cicero, P. Zerbinati, R. Piana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors report their experience with short- and medium-term microdiskectomy for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation. It is based on 760 operations performed between 1985 and July 1999: expulsed hernias and those of large size with intense pain symptoms and/or neurologic deficit were treated. During the same period of time, the authors used enzymatic and percutaneous nucleolysis according to Onik for smaller hernias. The incidence of satisfactory results was high (90.1%), in agreement with the results published in the literature. There was a low incidence of complications (4.6%), and of these 2.8% had a benign spontaneous evolution; 1% was prevented during surgery, 0.5% was prevented with subsequent surgery, while only 0.2% was the cause of definitive failure. Unsatisfactory results were constituted by the sequelae of complications (1 discitis, 4 liquoral cysts, 1 error in level not diagnosed intraoperatively), stenosis of the lateral recess not diagnosed pre- or intraoperatively, and thus not treated; in 6.1% of cases there was no plausible justification. The microsurgical technique above all reduces the duration of hospitalization (5 days on the average, but with 91% of cases dismissed on day 3), and allows for a rapid return to work activity (after 63 days for patients who are not employees, but with a return after 20 days in 95% of cases).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-344
Number of pages8
JournalLa Chirurgia degli organi di movimento
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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