Early individualised manipulative rehabilitation following lumbar open laser microdiscectomy improves early post-operative functional disability: A randomized, controlled pilot study

Byungho J. Kim, Junghoon Ahn, Heecheol Cho, Dongyun Kim, Taeyeong Kim, Bum-Chul Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Lumbar open laser microdiscectomy has been shown to be an effective intervention and safe approach for lumbar disc prolapse. However early post-operative physical disability affecting daily activities have been sporadically reported. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility of using early individualised manipulative rehabilitation to improve early postoperative functional disability following lumbar discectomy. METHODS: Randomised controlled pilot trial. Setting at a major metropolitan spine surgery hospital. Twenty-one patients aged 25-69 years who underwent lumbar microdiscectomy were randomised to either the manipulative rehabilitation treatment group or the active control group. Rehabilitation was initiated 2-3 weeks after surgery, twice a week for 4 weeks. Each session was for 30 minutes. Primary outcomes were the Roland-Morris disability questionnaire and the visual analogue pain scale. Outcome measures were assessed at baseline and post-intervention. RESULTS: Early post-operative physical disability was improved with a 55% reduction by early individualised manipulative rehabilitation, compared to that of control care with a 5% increase. Early post-operative residual leg pain decreased with rehabilitation (55%) and control care (9%). CONCLUSION: This pilot study supports the feasibility of a future definitive randomised control trial and indicates this type of rehabilitation may be an important option for post-operative management after spinal surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 22



  • early post-operative disability
  • early post-operative residual pain
  • Lumbar disc surgery
  • manipulative treatment
  • micro-discectomy
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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