If you're considering surgery for a lumbar disc herniation at the L5-S1 level, one risk you'll want to be aware of is if you're at an increased risk of developing a recurrent herniation in the same spot after surgery.
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A recent study examined the results of 467 patients who had surgery for a lumbar disc herniated and assessed the preoperative risk factors for developing a recurrent disc herniation.
In this study, 39 patients—or 8.3 percent of patients—developed another disc herniation in the same spot (in the disc at the L5-S1 level) after surgery. This rate of recurrence is consistent with prior clinical studies.
The study examined a number of factors, including:
- Radiologic parameters, such as such as disc height, disc degeneration, and more
- Clinical parameters, such as the patient's age, BMI, diabetes, smoking, and more
The study concluded that the following factors contributed to increased risk of developing a recurrent disc herniation after discectomy surgery:
- Several biomechanical factors, including moderate disc degeneration with preserved disc height, as well as a few other detailed anatomical factors
- Being male
- Having a large tear in the annulus
If you're considering having a microdiscectomy for symptoms from a lumbar herniated disc, talk to your surgeon about your individual risk factors so that you are well informed before the surgery.
- Kim KT, Lee DH, Cho DC, Sung JK, Kim YB. Preoperative Risk Factors for Recurrent Lumbar Disk Herniation in L5-S1.. J Spinal Disord Tech. 2015;28(10):E571-7. Accessed December 15, 2015.