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Breakthroughs in treatment of spine and back conditions
Date:3/10/2010

Approximately 21 million visits were made to physicians' offices due to back problems in 2006. While countless adults experience back pain and stiffness, many suffer from serious spine and back conditions including injury, herniated discs and the deterioration of the vertebrae. Three new studies presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) detail advances in back care and treatment options for specific back and spine conditions. Each of the following three studies consider and report on the patients' best outcomes and options:

  • Does the duration of symptoms affect outcomes in the treatment of lumbar disc herniation?
  • Treatment of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: Who Decides to Have Surgery?
  • Balloon Kyphoplasty vs Non-surgical Care: 2 Year Outcome of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Slipped Disc: When to Seek Treatment?

Lumbar disc herniation, or a slipped disc, mainly affects adults aged 30 to 40 years and is commonly caused by degenerative changes in the spine. Typically, these changes produce symptoms gradually, beginning with pain centered in the lower back. With progression of the condition, patients may suffer from extreme back pain and that also may spread into the buttocks and down the legs.

A new study released today analyzed the effect of symptom duration when treating herniated discs in the lower back. A comparison was made between 927 patients who had intervertebral lumbar disc herniation symptoms for less than six months and 265 patients who had symptoms longer than six months. Patients with symptoms lasting longer than six months had worse outcomes after both operative and non-operative treatment than patients with shorter symptom duration.

"The bottom line is patients who seek treatment, whether it is surgical or non-surgical, during the first six months of symptoms will respond better to treatment," said Jeffrey A. Rihn, MD, study
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Contact: Lauren L. Pearson
pearson@aaos.org
847-384-4031
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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