✓ Between 1971 and 1977, 334 patients at the Presbyterian-University Hospital underwent anterior surgery for treatment of hard or soft cervical disc herniation. Of these patients, 295 had radicular symptoms only. This retrospective study details the results of anterior cervical surgery for treatment of lateral disc herniation in 253 patients who survived 1 to 7 years postoperatively. Sixty-seven percent had excellent or good results. Although 77% initially noted complete relief of symptoms after surgery, 38% subsequently developed one or more recurrent symptoms at some time during the follow-up period. The overall results of surgery for soft disc cases were no different from the results for hard discs, although significantly more hard disc cases required postoperative conservative treatment. The results of surgery after anterior fusion were no different than the results after anterior discectomy alone. However, overall postoperative complications were more frequent and hospitalizations were longer in the patients who underwent fusion. Patients with multiple-level surgery had statistically similar results to those with single-level surgery. None of the nine preoperative clinical features reported by others to influence the results of anterior cervical surgery were found to consistently affect outcome in the present series.
Part 1: Treatment of lateral cervical disc herniation in 253 cases
L. Dade Lunsford, David J. Bissonette, Peter J. Jannetta, Peter E. Sheptak and David S. Zorub
The effect of single-application topical ophthalmic anesthesia in patients with trigeminal neuralgia
A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial
Douglas Kondziolka, Thomas Lemley, John R. W. Kestle, L. Dade Lunsford, Gerhard H. Fromm and Peter J. Jannetta
✓ To evaluate the reported benefit of ipsilateral single-application ophthalmic anesthetic eyedrops in patients with typical trigeminal neuralgia, a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial was performed. Forty-seven patients were randomly assigned to receive two drops of either proparacaine (25 cases) or saline placebo (22 cases). The experimental and placebo groups were equivalent in regard to patient age, distribution of trigeminal neuralgia pain, duration of pain, current medication regimens, and number of prior procedures performed. Pain response was assessed at 3, 10, and 30 days after instillation using two pain rating scales and a measure of pain frequency. Treatment failure was defined in advance as any of the following: a lack of clinical response, the need for an increase in medication, or the need for surgery. No significant difference in outcomes was found between the two groups either when using a verbal pain rating scale (p = 0.24) or when comparing overall pain status (unchanged, improved throughout the study period, or temporarily improved) (p = 0.98). No difference in the frequency of trigeminal neuralgia attacks between the two treatment groups (scaled within five levels of pain frequency) was detected (p = 0.09). During follow-up monitoring, 11 patients in the test drug group and 14 in the placebo group required surgery because of persistent pain (p = 0.24). The results of this study indicate that single-application topical ophthalmic anesthesia reduces neither the severity nor the frequency of pain in comparison to placebo administration. Although a simple and safe treatment, the single application of topical ophthalmic eyedrops provides no short- or long-term benefit to patients with trigeminal neuralgia.