STUDY DESIGN: This cohort study was an analysis of prospectively collected data in the DaneSpine Database.
OBJECTIVE: The objective was to determine whether preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings were associated with the frequency of surgical revision due to recurrent lumbar disc herniation (LDH) within 3 years after first-time, single-level, simple lumbar discectomy.
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Because of a risk of poorer outcome in patients receiving revision surgery compared with first-time discectomy, there is a need to identify patients with LDH in risk of surgical revision prior to the primary discectomy. The association between preoperative MRI findings and revision surgery in patients with LDH has not been thoroughly studied.
METHODS: Following an interobserver reliability study preoperative MRIs were evaluated. Potential predictive variables for surgical revision were evaluated using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Also, a sum-score of the number of MRI findings at the involved level was assessed.
RESULTS: In a study population of 451 operated patients, those who had surgical revision were significantly younger and were significantly less likely to have vertebral endplate signal changes Type 2 (OR 0.36 (95% CI 0.15-0.88)) or more than five MRI findings (OR 0.45 (95% CI 0.21-0.95)) at the involved level than the patients not undergoing surgical revision. Surgical revision was not significantly associated with any other MRI findings.
CONCLUSIONS: In general, preoperative MRI findings have a limited explanatory value in predicting surgical revision within 3 years after first-time, single-level, simple lumbar discectomy. Both the single variable VESC Type 2 and a sum-score > 5 MRI findings at the operated level were found to be negatively associated with patients undergoing surgical revision.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3.