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AANS: Pre-Op Working Status Predicts Return-to-Work

Pre-op working status is strongest predictor of post-op working status for lumbar discectomy patients

TUESDAY, May 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) — For patients undergoing single-level lumbar discectomy, preoperative working status is the strongest predictor of return to work at three months, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), held from May 2 to 6 in Washington, D.C.

Khoi Duc Than, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues conducted an observational prospective cohort study at 13 academic and community sites to examine factors that were predictive of return to work at three months following single-level lumbar discectomy. Data were included for 127 patients (average age, 46 years).

The researchers found that 66.9 percent of patients were working at three months postoperatively. Younger patients, males, those with higher Short Form-36 physical function scores, those with lower Oswestry Disability Index scores, non-smokers, and those who were working preoperatively were more likely to return to work at three months postoperatively. The most important factors were gender and preoperative work status in logistic regression analysis. Among the 89 patients who were working preoperatively, age was the only significant predictor of postoperative return to work.

“In this cohort of lumbar discectomy patients, preoperative working status was the strongest predictor of postoperative working status three months after surgery,” according to the AANS news release.

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