Return to work after lumbar disc surgery is related to the length of preoperative sick leave

Mikkel Ø Andersen, Carsten Ernst, Jesper Rasmussen, Søren Dahl, Leah Y Carreon

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Lumbar disc herniation (LDH) is associated with high morbidity and significant socio-economic impact as the majority of the patients are of working age. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of length of sick leave on the return-to-work rate after lumbar disc herniation surgery.

METHODS: This was a single-centre study of LDH patients who underwent surgery from 18 May 2009 through 28 November 2014. Data were collected prospectively from the DaneSpine database. Questions in DaneSpine include preoperative length of sick leave and working status one year post-operatively.

RESULTS: A total of 678 patients were included and 72% of the patients had returned to work one year after their surgery. The rate of patients returning to work decreases significantly with the length of preoperative sick leave. Among the patients who were on sick leave prior to their surgery, 83% returned to work if surgically treated within three months. In contrast, only 50% of those whose sick leave exceeded three months returned to work.

CONCLUSION: The present analysis suggests that the return-to-work rate after lumbar disc herniation surgery is affected by the length of sick leave.

FUNDING: none.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study was registered with the Danish Data Protection Agency.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA5392
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Volume64
Issue number7
ISSN1603-9629
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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