Effect of Prior Lumbar Discectomy on Outcome of Lumbar Fusion: A Prospective Analysis Using the SF-36 Measure

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This study prospectively measured patient-reported quality-of-life outcome in patients undergoing fusion for recurrent symptoms after prior discectomy. Analysis of SF-36 data revealed statistically significant improvement in physical function, social function, and bodily pain 1 year postoperatively. Analysis of variance revealed significant interactions based on worker's compensation, litigation status, educational level, and age. The results support the conclusion that the SF-36 is a useful and applicable tool for measuring patient perception and quality-of-life parameters after spinal surgery. SF-36 outcomes demonstrated a reasonable level of success for lumbar fusion in revision spine surgery, with the most significant improvements noted in the categories of pain, physical function, and social function.

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