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“Fantasy Points” Associated With Professional Athlete Performance After Lumbar Discectomy Or Microdiscectomy London Spine

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Published article

CONCLUSIONS: Based on these results, the average performance of most elite athletes are likely to decrease after undergoing a lumbar discectomy. Although it appears that performance peaks in the initial years after the operation for some players, there was an overall long-term decline in this sample of elite athletes. Study limitations included small sample size, lack of controlling for possible confounding variables (e.g., age, etc.) and use of variable reporting sources. Additional studies…
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Abstract

Introduction: The treatment of Lumbar Disc Herniation (LDH) in elite athletes is a debated topic that lacks consensus in the literature due to varying outcome reporting methods. The objective of this study was to quantify the overall performance of a sample of professional athletes before and after receiving a lumbar discectomy or microdiscectomy in a cohort of players in the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB).

Methods: The authors identified publicly accessible data from a cohort of different types of professional players who received either a lumbar discectomy or a microdiscectomy. These records were identified through newspaper archives, injury reports, player profiles and press releases between 1993 through 2015. Fantasy and Wins Above Replacement (WAR) scores were calculated for each player.

Results: A total of 38 professional players met study inclusion criteria. NFL players had the lowest return-to-play (RTP) at nine of 14 (64%). The RTP for NBA, NHL and MLB players were comparable with 6/7 (86%) vs 8/9 (89%) vs 7/8 (88%). NFL players had the lowest average career length after surgery at 34.8 months, while NBA players had the longest average career length at 48 months. MLB players on average required the longest time to return to presurgical level of performance (24 months) and required the longest average recovery time at 12 months.

Conclusions: Based on these results, the average performance of most elite athletes are likely to decrease after undergoing a lumbar discectomy. Although it appears that performance peaks in the initial years after the operation for some players, there was an overall long-term decline in this sample of elite athletes. Study limitations included small sample size, lack of controlling for possible confounding variables (e.g., age, etc.) and use of variable reporting sources. Additional studies with larger sample sizes and age-matched controls are needed to examine the effects of lumbar discectomy more comprehensively in elite athletes.

Keywords: athlete; discectomy; lumbar; microdiscectomy; performance; professional athlete; recovery; spine; surgery.

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“Fantasy Points” associated with Professional Athlete Performance after Lumbar Discectomy or Microdiscectomy

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Abstract Introduction: The treatment of Lumbar Disc Herniation (LDH) in elite athletes is a debated topic that lacks consensus in the literature due to varying outcome reporting methods. The objective of this study was to quantify the overall performance of a sample of professional athletes before and after receiving a lumbar discectomy or microdiscectomy in…

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