Overall Objective: To evaluate pain and functional status of patients undergoing surgical
correction for lumbar herniated disc, pre- and post-surgery, using subjective (VAS, Oswestry,
PSQI, Patient Expectation), as well as, objective measures of physical activity (triaxial
Design and Methods: Two groups of subjects will be examined; 1) patients diagnosed with
lumbar herniated disc undergoing minimally invasive microdiscectomy (MD), and 2) patients
diagnosed with lumbar herniated disc undergoing open microlumbar discectomy (OD).
Subjects who agree to participate, will be assessed (assessments listed below) after the
diagnosis and prior to surgery. The subject will then be assessed postop and they will
continue with follow-up after surgery with a visit at 3 weeks postop. Both methods of
discectomy will be discussed with the subject. Once the subject has consented to participate
(and prior to surgery), subjects will be randomized with a 50/50 chance of being placed in
the MD or OD groups. Subjects will be distributed into the MD group and the OD group using a
block randomization method. The study will be single blinded. A longitudinal, within group,
comparison will be made to assess the change in the measured parameters. Data involving the
MD and OD groups will be accumulated in a cross-sectional fashion.
Subjects will be recruited from the referrals to the practices of the Orthopedic and
Neurosurgeon Spine Surgeons at the Health Sciences Centre. This encompasses the majority of
new and currently managed cases in the Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario.
Subjects will be between the ages of 18 and 90. Male and female subjects will be recruited
into the study. All patients will clinically demonstrate unilateral lower extremity pain in
greater proportion to low back pain symptoms if present. Imaging (CT) will document single
level lumbar herniated nucleus pulposis. Exclusion criteria will be cauda equina syndrome,
progressive neurologic deficit, bilateral lower extremity symptoms, low back pain more than
leg pain, the existence of significant co-morbidity (e.g. cardiac condition, disease, etc.)
of any form, and any other physical limitations (musculoskeletal injury). Subjects
participating will be required to speak and read English.