Content » Vol 46, Issue 3

Original report

A structured physiotherapy treatment model can provide rapid relief to patients who qualify for lumbar disc surgery: A prospective cohort study

Gunilla Limbäck Svensson , Gunilla Kjellby Wendt, Roland Thomeé
Department of Physiotherapy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Mölndal, SE-431 80 Mölndal, Sweden. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1255


Objective: To evaluate a structured physiotherapy treatment model in patients who qualify for lumbar disc surgery.
Design: A prospective cohort study.
Patients: Forty-one patients with lumbar disc herniation, diagnosed by clinical assessments and magnetic resonance imaging.
Methods: Patients followed a structured physiotherapy treatment model, including Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), together with graded trunk stabilization training. Study outcome measures were the Oswestry Disability Index, a visual analogue scale for leg and back pain, the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia, the European Quality of Life in 5 Dimensions Questionnaires, the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale, the Self-Efficacy Scale, work status, and patient satisfaction with treatment. Questionnaires were distributed before treatment and at 3-, 12- and 24-month follow-ups.
Results: The patients had already improved significantly (p < 0. 001) 3 months after the structured physiotherapy treatment model in all assessments: disability, leg and back pain, kinesiophobia, health-related quality of life, depression and self-efficacy. The improvement could still be seen at the 2-year follow-up.
Conclusion: This study recommends adopting the structured physiotherapy treatment model before considering surgery for patients with symptoms such as pain and disability due to lumbar disc herniation.

Lay Abstract


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