Outcomes in patients admitted for rehabilitation with spinal neurological lesions following intervertebral disc herniation

J. Ronen, D. Goldin, M. Itzkovich, V. Bluvshtein, I. Gelernter, Reuven Gepstein, R. David, A. Livshitz, A. Catz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Little information is available about the survival, neurological recovery, and length of stay in hospital for rehabilitation (LOS) of patients with spinal neurological deficit following disc herniation (DH). Study design: Retrospective cohort study. Objective: To report on outcomes and factors affecting these. Setting: The Spinal Research Laboratory, Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital, Israel. Subjects: A total of 158 patients with DH spinal neurological lesions (DHSNL). Method: Data were collected retrospectively. Survival was assessed using the Kaplan-Meier method; relative mortality risk by the Cox proportional hazard model. Neurological recovery was evaluated by calculating the change in Frankel grades, and factors that affect it were assessed by logistic regression. LOS associations were analyzed with ANOVA. Results: The median age at lesion onset was 48 years, and the median survival 29 years. Age and gender had a significant effect on survival, but not so lesion severity, level, or decade of onset. Of the 69 patients who had Frankel grades A, B, or C on admission, 72% achieved useful recovery to grades D or E. The severity and level of the spinal neurological lesion (SNL) had a significant effect on recovery. The mean LOS was 87 days; it was significantly affected by lesion severity and level and by the decade of admission to rehabilitation, and decreased with time. Conclusions: Patients with DHSNL who were admitted for rehabilitation have favorable survival and recovery rates compared with previously studied patients with other types of SNL. Their LOS is probably a function of medical requirements, but is decreasing with time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-626
Number of pages6
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004


FundersFunder number
Ministry of Defense


    • Disc herniation
    • Length of stay in hospital
    • Recovery
    • Spinal cord lesion
    • Survival


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