The positive effect of primary lumbar disc surgery on braking reaction time (BRT) has already been shown. The authors investigated the effect of recurrent lumbar disc herniation surgery on BRT.
Twenty-four patients (mean age 49.9 years) were investigated for BRT 1 day before surgery, postoperatively before hospital discharge, and 4 to 5 weeks after surgery. Thirty-one healthy subjects served as a control group.
Significant improvement of BRT following surgery was found in all patients (p < 0.05). For patients with right-sided recurrent disc herniation, median BRT was 736 msec before surgery, 685 msec immediately postoperatively, and 662 msec at follow-up. For patients with left-sided recurrent disc herniation, median BRT was 674 msec preoperatively, 585 msec postoperatively, and 578 msec at follow-up. Control subjects had a median BRT of 487, which differed significantly from the patient BRTs at all 3 test times (p < 0.05).
A significant reduction in BRT in patients with recurrent disc herniation was found following lumbar disc revision surgery, indicating a positive impact of surgery. Due to the improvement in BRT observed immediately after surgery, we conclude that it is appropriate to recommend that patients keep driving after being discharged from the hospital.
ABBREVIATIONSBRT = braking reaction time; FU = follow-up; VAS = visual analog scale.