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Early Surgery for Sciatica 

Early Surgery for Sciatica
Chapter:
Early Surgery for Sciatica
Author(s):

Luis Kolb

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199377527.003.0031
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date: 23 September 2019

This chapter provides a summary of a landmark study in spine disorders. How does early surgery compare with prolonged conservative treatment for patients with sciatica? Starting with that question, it describes the basics of the study, including funding, study location, who was studied, how many patients, study design, study intervention, follow-up, endpoints, results, and criticism and limitations. Researchers found that for patients with severe sciatica that persists beyond 6–12 weeks, surgery leads to faster improvements in pain; however, after 1 year of follow-up the two approaches have similar outcomes. Current indications for referring patients for surgical evaluation include intractable radicular pain or pain that does not improve after 6–8 weeks of conservative care. The chapter briefly reviews other relevant studies and information, and concludes with a relevant clinical case.

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