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Acute disc herniation in the elderly

BACKGROUND: Acute disc prolapse in young adults has been studied extensively. However, little is known about acute disc prolapse in the elderly. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to define the features of acute disc prolapse in the elderly. DESIGN, SETTING AND PATIENTS: Elderly (>/= 65 years) patients who had lumbar or thoracic discectomy for acute (< 3 months) disc prolapse in our unit between July 2004 and March 2010 were identified. For comparison, we used a 'young' (25-45 years) patient cohort with acute thoracic or lumbar disc prolapse. Data collected included age, symptom onset, preoperative signs and spinal level. RESULTS: During the study period, 390 patients had discectomy, of which 59.7% were 'young' and 7.4% 'elderly'. The young and elderly patients had significantly different distributions of prolapsed disc levels. In the young, 97% of all disc protrusions were at L4/5 or L5/S1, but < 50% were at these levels in the elderly. In the elderly, about 10% of disc protrusions were thoracic. CONCLUSIONS: Acute disc prolapse is rare in the elderly and primarily affects the upper lumbar and lower thoracic spine Keywords : Acute Disease,Adult,Affect,Age Distribution,Aged,Case-Control Studies,etiology,Humans,Intervertebral Disc Degeneration,Intervertebral Disc Displacement,London,Lumbar Vertebrae,Magnetic Resonance Imaging,Neurosurgery,pathology,Patients,Preoperative Care,Prolapse,Spine,surgery,Universities,Young Adult,, Disc,Herniation,Elderly, hypermobility clinic london

Date of Publication : 2012 Apr

Authors : Werndle MC;Reza A;Wong K;Papadopoulos MC;

Organisation : Academic Neurosurgery Unit, St George’s, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London, UK

Journal of Publication : Br J Neurosurg

Pubmed Link : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22077584

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