Rehabilitation after lumbar disc surgery

Teddy Oosterhuis*, Leonardo O.P. Costa, Christopher G. Maher, Henrica C.W. de Vet, Maurits W. van Tulder, Raymond W.J.G. Ostelo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Several rehabilitation programmes are available for individuals after lumbar disc surgery. To determine whether active rehabilitation after lumbar disc surgery is more effective than no treatment, and to describe in the content, duration and intensity of the rehabilitation programmes included in this review, and for none of them was high- or moderate-quality evidence identified. Exercise programmes starting four to six weeks postsurgery seem to lead to a faster decrease in pain and disability than no treatment, with small to medium effect sizes, and high-intensity exercise programmes seem to lead to a slightly faster decrease in pain and disability than is seen with low-intensity programmes, but the overall quality of the evidence is only low to very low. No significant differences were noted between supervised and home exercise programmes for pain relief, disability or global perceived effect. None of the trials reported an increase in reoperation rate after first-time lumbar surgery. High-quality randomised controlled trials are strongly needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD003007
Pages (from-to)1-105
Number of pages105
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2014


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