Lumbar disc herniation: Early surgery versus prolonged conservative treatment.
We seek to compare pain sensation after surgical and conservative treatment in patients having sciatica with lumbar disc herniation in a routine clinical setting. Objectives: To compare the outcome of early surgical intervention versus prolonged conservative treatment in patients with sciatica due to herniated lumbar intervertebral discs. Study Design: Randomized Control Trial. Setting: Department of Neurosurgery, Dow University of Health Sciences, Civil Hospital Karachi. Period: Aug 1, 2017 till May 31, 2018. Material & Methods: Data was prospectively collected from patients after taking a consent. A total of 70 patients, with 35 patients in each Group A (early surgical intervention) and Group B (prolonged conservative treatment) were included. Demographic data was presented as simple descriptive statistics giving mean and standard deviation and qualitative variables were presented as frequency and percentages. P-value of ≤ 0.05 was taken significant. Effect modifiers were controlled through stratification to see the effect of these on the outcome variable. Post stratification independent t-test was applied taking p-value of ≤0.05 as significant. Results: Mean age in group A and B was 45.18±7.64 and 42.78±5.87 years respectively. 30 (85.7%) were male and 05 (14.3%) were female in group A. 28 (80%) were male and 07 (20%) were female in group B. Mean pre and post VAS score in group A was (7.18±0.71 and 2.18±0.55) and group B was (7.78±0.34 and 3.26±0.21). Mean pre and post SF36 BP score in group A was (24.18±3.81 and 65.54±6.14) and group B was (34.29±4.91 and 68.21±5.87). Conclusion: Many patients continue to refer conservative treatment of sciatica, despite of pain but given the results of this study, early surgical intervention appears to be superior to medical management for the treatment of Sciatica with respect to patient outcome.