One-year outcomes of early-crossover patients in a cohort receiving nonoperative care for lumbar disc herniation


Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, Ahead of Print. OBJECTIVEThe authors comprehensively studied the recovery course and 1-year outcomes of early-crossover patients who were randomized to the nonoperative care arm of the Leiden–The Hague Spine Intervention Prognostic Study. The primary goal was to gain insight into the differences in the recovery patterns of early-crossover patients and those treated nonoperatively; secondary goals were to identify predictors of good 1-year outcomes, and to understand when and why patients were likely to cross over.METHODSIndividual EuroQol-5D scores were obtained at baseline and at 2, 4, 8, 12, 26, 38, and 52 weeks for 142 patients. Early-crossover patients were defined as those electing to undergo surgery during the first 12 weeks of treatment. Crossover and noncrossover groups were compared using Kruskal-Wallis, Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney, and chi-square tests. Linear mixed-effects models were used to examine the growth trajectories of crossover and noncrossover groups. Recursive partitioning trees were used to model crossover events and the timing of crossover decisions. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify predictors of good 1-year outcomes.RESULTSOf the 142 patients randomized to receive prolonged nonoperative care, 136 were selected for the study. In this cohort, 43/136 (32%) opted for surgery, and 31/43 (72%) of crossover events occurred before the 12-week time point. Early-crossover patients had significantly greater functional impairment at Week 2 than noncrossover patients (p = 0.031), but experienced greater recovery by 26 weeks and better 1-year outcomes (p = 0.045). Patients who did not experience an improvement in their symptoms between 2 and 8

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