Thoracolumbar disc herniation (TLDH) is a rare and progressively disabling disorder; surgical procedures predispose the subjects to high incidence of complications including recurrence, neurological aggravation, and adjacent segment degeneration.
Ten patients with TLDH underwent posterior approach operation in our institution from January, 2006 to December, 2015. The mean preoperative duration of clinical symptoms was 16.5 months. The clinical data including operative time, blood loss, and hospitalization duration were investigated. Furthermore, pre and postoperative neurological status was evaluated by the modified Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scoring system and pain by visual analog scale (VAS) scoring system.
The mean operative time was 176.50 ± 20.55 minutes, the mean blood loss was 435.00 ± 89.58 mL, and the mean hospitalization length was 13.30 ± 2.97 days. All patients were followed with a mean period of 35.1 months. The mean JOA score of all patients before operation, at discharge, 3 months after operation, and at last follow-up was 6.50 ± 1.28, 7.60 ± 1.22, 8.90 ± 0.99, and 9.00 ± 0.92, respectively. The differences between the pre and postoperative JOA and VAS scores were significant (P < .05). However, the differences of JOA and VAS scores at postoperative 3 months and final follow-up were not statistically significant.
Posterior approach operation is an ideal surgical technique for treatment of TLDH; the operative time, blood loss, hospitalization duration, and symptomatic improvement are favorable.