During the past 6 years, 32 cases of lumbar disc herniation treated by posterior approach for over 70 years old were clinically studied. All patients have been followed for more than one year. These studies investigated the clinical symptoms, X-ray findings, and operative results compared with 23 patients aged 20 to 39 who were treated by posterior approach for lumbar disc herniation in 1997.
Common clinical symptoms were severe leg pain and motor disturbance in lower extremity.
Preoperative X-rays suggest that the lower lumbar spine tends to be stable due to degenerative changes, and the upper lumbar unstable on the contrary making the unstable upper lumbar a potential risk factor of the involved levels.
The averaged preoperative JOA score was 11.8 points and the post operative JOA score was 23.1. The Hirabayashi's average recovery rate was 66.2%. The recovery rate was as good as that of the 23 patients aged 20 to 39.
In most cases, postoperative diagnosis is combined stenosis. From these findings, laminectomy or partial laminectomy causing possible posterior decompression is necessary for lumbar disc herniation in elderly patients.