Corticosteroids in Lumbar Disc Surgery

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: In a prospective randomised double-blind study eighty patients with MRI verified lumbar disc herniation and corresponding clinical findings underwent microscopic disc removal. The patients were peroperatively given systemic and local corticosteroids or placebo, and followed for 2 years. The hospital stay and time to return to full-time work was significantly shorter in the treatment group. Pain measured as worst pain during the last week was also lower in the corticosteroid group. The results indicate that peroperative treatment with corticosteroids reduces pain and improves the functional outcome in patients operated for lumbar disc herniations.To evaluate whether thermal quantitative sensory testing (QST) is applicable in the study of sensory dysfunction in lumbar disc herniations 66 patients with disc herniations underwent thermal QST. We found that thermal QST reflects sensory dysfunction in patients with lumbar disc herniations. However, thermal QST seems to have a poor predictive value for identifying the anatomic location of a herniated lumbar disc.Quantitative sensory testing (QST) was used to detect damage to the myelinated A-delta fibres (cold sense) and the unmyelinated C-fibres (warmth sense). Corticosteroids combined with surgery in lumbar disc surgery improved the normalisation for the warmth disturbance compared to the control group. A prospective analysis was performed on the predictive value of preoperatively determined lumbar lordosis and flexion for pain and disability in patients treated by microscopic lumbar disc surgery. Preoperative hyperlordosis correlated to more pain postoperatively (p=0.004). In patients with hypoflexion there was an association between hyperlordosis and moderate or severe pain postoperatively (p<0.001). The same outcomes were found for DRI. The stiff and straight back indicates a good outcome of lumbar disc surgery concerning pain and disability.