Prognostic Value of Impaired Preoperative Ankle Reflex in Surgical Outcome of Lumbar Disc Herniation

Document Type : RESEARCH PAPER


1 Orthopedic Research Center, Orthopedic Department, Imam Reza Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Orthopaedic Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background: Several prognostic factors exist influencing the outcome of surgical discectomy in the patients with lumbar disc herniation (LDH). The aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between severity of preoperative impaired ankle reflex and outcomes of lumbar discectomy in the patients with L5-S1 LDH.

We retrospectively evaluated 181 patients (108 male and 73 female) who underwent simple discectomy in our orthopedic department from April 2009 to April 2013 and followed them up for more than one year. The mean age of the patients was 35.3±8.9 years old. Severity of reflex impairment was graded from 0 to 4+ and radicular pain and disability were assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS) and Oswestry disability index (ODI) questionnaires, respectively. Subjective satisfaction was also evaluated at the last follow-up visit. Chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to compare qualitative variables.

Reflex impairment existed in 44.8% preoperatively that improved to 10% at the last follow-up visit. Statistical analyses could not find a significant relationship between the severity of impaired ankle reflex and sex or age (P=0.538 and P=0.709, respectively). There was a remarkable relationship between severity of reflex impairment and preoperative radicular pain or disability (P=0.012 and P=0.002, respectively). Kruskal-Wallis test showed that a more severity in ankle reflex impairment was associated with not only less improvement in postoperative pain and disability but also less satisfaction rate (P

In the patients with L5-S1 LDH, more severe ankle reflex impairment is associated with less improvement in postoperative pain, disability, and subjective satisfaction.


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