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Lumbar Discectomy: A National Survey of Neurosurgeons and Literature Review

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 December 2014

Aleksa Cenic
Affiliation:
Division of Neurosurgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Edward Kachur
Affiliation:
Division of Neurosurgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Abstract

Background:

To ascertain neurosurgical practices in the surgical management of one-level lumbar discectomies in the Canadian adult population.

Methods:

One page questionnaire faxed to each Neurosurgeon in Canada with questions relating to their practice in the management of this common neurosurgical procedure. All data analyzed using Chi-square statistics.

Results:

112 completed surveys were returned hence, giving a 64% response rate with the respondents being predominantly adult neurosurgeons. Of the respondents, 88% perform lumbar discectomy in adults. Only 15% of respondents had a Spine Fellowship. For preoperative imaging, 44% use BOTH CT and MRI whereas 28% use only MRI and 15% use only CT. Prior to initial skin incision, 57% use a localization X-ray image. Preoperative antibiotics are prescribed by 92% of respondents. Majority of respondents (60%) use a pre-incision local anesthetic, whereas only a minority (44%) of respondents employ pre-closure intramuscular injection. With respect to magnification, 70% use microscope, 19% loupes, and 8% neither. Only 12% use minimally invasive tubular retractors. 68% remove “as much disc as possible”, while 31% remove “ONLY herniated part”. In the case of dural tears, 77% of respondents use fibrin glue (Tisseel®). Prior to skin closure, majority of neurosurgeons do NOT use a fat graft (72%), whereas 61% of respondents use epidural steroids. With respect to discharge from the hospital, 58% are discharged on the next day, 18% on the same day, and 23% in two days. Return to work is not recommended until at least six weeks post-op (96%). Most neurosurgeons (93%) would not operate on an individual with a chief complaint of low back pain.

Conclusions:

Our survey has identified variations in practice patterns amongst Canadian Neurosurgeons with respect to performing one-level lumbar discectomies. This survey is expected to form a basis for the design of a randomized controlled trial in the evaluation of the best management approach for this common neurosurgical procedure.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Canadian Journal of Neurological 2009

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