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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 97-B, Issue 3 | Pages 366 - 371
1 Mar 2015
Patel MS Newey M Sell P

Minimal clinically important differences (MCID) in the scores of patient-reported outcome measures allow clinicians to assess the outcome of intervention from the perspective of the patient. There has been significant variation in their absolute values in previous publications and a lack of consistency in their calculation.

The purpose of this study was first, to establish whether these values, following spinal surgery, vary depending on the surgical intervention and their method of calculation and secondly, to assess whether there is any correlation between the two external anchors most frequently used to calculate the MCID.

We carried out a retrospective analysis of prospectively gathered data of adult patients who underwent elective spinal surgery between 1994 and 2009. A total of 244 patients were included. There were 125 men and 119 women with a mean age of 54 years (16 to 84); the mean follow-up was 62 months (6 to 199) The MCID was calculated using three previously published methods.

Our results show that the value of the MCID varies considerably with the operation and its method of calculation. There was good correlation between the two external anchors. The global outcome tool correlated significantly better.

We conclude that consensus needs to be reached on the best method of calculating the MCID. This then needs to be defined for each spinal procedure. Using a blanket value for the MCID for all spinal procedures should be avoided.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2015;97-B:366–71.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 95-B, Issue 1 | Pages 90 - 94
1 Jan 2013
Patel MS Braybrooke J Newey M Sell P

The outcome of surgery for recurrent lumbar disc herniation is debatable. Some studies show results that are comparable with those of primary discectomy, whereas others report worse outcomes. The purpose of this study was to compare the outcome of revision lumbar discectomy with that of primary discectomy in the same cohort of patients who had both the primary and the recurrent herniation at the same level and side.

A retrospective analysis of prospectively gathered data was undertaken in 30 patients who had undergone both primary and revision surgery for late recurrent lumbar disc herniation. The outcome measures used were visual analogue scales for lower limb (VAL) and back (VAB) pain and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI).

There was a significant improvement in the mean VAL and ODI scores (both p < 0.001) after primary discectomy. Revision surgery also resulted in improvements in the mean VAL (p < 0.001), VAB (p = 0.030) and ODI scores (p < 0.001). The changes were similar in the two groups (all p > 0.05).

Revision discectomy can give results that are as good as those seen after primary surgery.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:90–4.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 4 | Pages 517 - 521
1 Apr 2009
Okoro T Sell P

We compared a group of 46 somatised patients with a control group of 41 non-somatised patients who had undergone elective surgery to the lumbar spine in an attempt to identify pre-operative factors which could predict the outcome. In a prospective single-centre study, the Distress and Risk Assessment method consisting of a modified somatic perception questionnaire and modified Zung depression index was used pre-operatively to identify somatised patients. The type and number of consultations were correlated with functional indicators of outcome, such as the Oswestry disability index and a visual analogue score for pain in the leg after follow-up for six and 12 months.

Similar improvements in the Oswestry disability index were found in the somatised and non-somatised groups. Somatised patients who had a good outcome on the Oswestry disability index had an increased number of orthopaedic consultations (50 of 83 patients (60%) vs 29 of 73 patients (39.7%); p = 0.16) and waited less time for their surgery (5.5 months) (sd 5.26) vs 10.1 months (sd 6.29); p = 0.026). No other identifiable factors were found. A shorter wait for surgery appeared to predict a good outcome. Early review by a spinal surgeon and a reduced waiting time to surgery appear to be of particular benefit to somatised patients.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 86-B, Issue 4 | Pages 546 - 549
1 May 2004
Ng LCL Sell P

The optimum timing of lumbar discectomy for sciatica is imprecise. We have investigated a number of prognostic factors in relation to the outcome of radiculopathy after lumbar discectomy. We recruited 113 consecutive patients of whom 103 (91%) were followed up at one year. We found a significant association between the duration of radiculopathy and the changes in the Oswestry Disability Index score (p = 0.005) and the low back outcome score (p = 0.03). Improvement in pain was independent of all variables. Patients with an uncontained herniated disc had a shorter duration of symptoms and a better functional outcome than those with a contained herniation.

Our study suggests that patients with sciatica for more than 12 months have a less favourable outcome. We detected no variation in the results for patients operated on in whom the duration of sciatica was less than 12 months.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 76-B, Issue 1 | Pages 91 - 98
1 Jan 1994
Upadhyay S Saji M Sell P Sell B Hsu L

We have reviewed 80 children who were involved in the Medical Research Council (UK) trial of surgical treatment for tuberculosis of the spine in Hong Kong. Radical surgery or debridement had been performed at mean ages of 7.6 years (n = 47) and 5.1 years (n = 33) respectively. The patients were followed up to skeletal maturity (mean 17 years). Spinal deformity was measured on lateral radiographs taken preoperatively, at six months, one year, five years and at final follow-up. Radical surgery and grafting produced a reduction in kyphos and deformity angles at six months; this correction was maintained during the growth period. By contrast, after debridement surgery there was an increase in deformity at six months, with a tendency to some spontaneous correction during the growth period. There were statistically significant differences between angles for the radical and debridement groups only at six months postoperatively, but the changes during later follow-up were similar in the radical and debridement groups. Our findings highlight the importance of the surgical correction of deformity, and provide no evidence to suggest that disproportionate posterior spinal growth contributes to progression of deformity after anterior spinal fusion in children.