Physiotherapy intervention post-lumbar surgery?proves effective!

Reference:Reference: Dolan P, Greenfield K, Nelson R Nelson w 2000. The effect of exercise therapy following microdiscectomy. Spine 25: 1523-1532

This was a pilot study on 20 patients with radiological evidence of disc prolapse who underwent microdiscectomy. All received the standard post-op care from Physiotherapists including education on exercises and return to work activities.

Six weeks post-op, only half of them were randomly allocated to further 4-weeks of Physiotherapy intervention (2 hours /week). The Physiotherapy treatments focused on:

i) Improving strength and endurance of the back and abdominal muscles
ii) Improving lumbar mobility
iii) Improving hip mobility

Result:The 4-week Physiotherapist delivered post-op exercise program SIGNIFICANTLY improved pain, disability, hip mobility, spinal mobility and muscular endurance of the lumbar extensors, compared to the control group.

All these improvements were evident at 2,6 and 12 months post surgery!

Personal Comment:Orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons should consider this study on the benefits of supervised exercise therapy after microdiscectomy, as some have had concerns that exercises may actually worsen a patient?s surgical outcome.

Posted on: July 21, 2002

Categories: Lumbar Spine

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