International Orthopaedics

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 875–881 | Cite as

Treatment outcome of quality of life and clinical symptoms in patients with symptomatic lumbar degenerative disc diseases: which treatment modality is superior?

  • Ajiboye Lukman Olalekan Email author
  • Mustapha Alimi
  • Suleiman Ayoola Gbadegesin
  • Oboirien Muhammad 
Original Paper



This was to assess the quality of life and clinical symptoms before and after treatment of patients with symptomatic lumbar degenerative disc disease (LDDD). It was also to determine the superior treatment for well-selected patients: conservative versus surgical treatment.

Study Design

Prospective interventional analytical study.


We studied 160 adult symptomatic patients aged 31–60 years with diagnosis of LDDD who were enrolled between May 2016 and November 2017. Their pre- and post-treatment clinical symptoms and signs and quality of life were studied using the Oswestry disability index (ODI). The data was analysed using SPSS version 24.


One hundred fifty-three adult patients aged 31 to 60 years completed the study. The male-to-female ratio was 1:1.5 while the symptom duration ranged between one and 14 years. The treatment modalities were medical (46%), epidural steroid injection (26%) and operative treatment (28%). The responses to the treatment were worsened symptoms (10.5%), no improvement (13.1%), moderate/slight improvement (27.5%) and significant improvement (49%). There were statistically significant improvements (p value < 0.05) in clinical symptoms, sign and ODI at six months after treatment. Surgical treatment was superior to all other form of care.


This study showed significant improvement in outcome among the participants in different treatment modalities with surgical treatment being the superior. We recommend surgical treatment for well-selected adult patients with symptomatic LDDD and assessment of quality of life and clinical symptoms before and after treatment.


Symptomatic lumbar degenerative disc disease Quality of life and clinical symptoms 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval

Approval to conduct the study from the Ethical Committee of NOHI was obtained before the study.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all the participants in this study.

The researchers’ level of the participation

All the authors fully participated in all the stages of the study and manuscript writing.


We recommend that all patients with symptomatic LDDD should have pre- and post-treatment functional and quality of life assessments.

Limitations of the study

It is a uni-centred study done in referral orthopaedic hospital where a fraction of the people in the community presents to. A multi-centred study or community-based study with a larger sample size will be more statistically significant for the conclusion. A longer follow-up period of the patients after treatment will show long-term effects of the treatment types.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Orthopaedic and Trauma Unit, Department of Surgery, College of Health SciencesUsmanu Danfodiyo UniversitySokotoNigeria
  2. 2.Orthopaedics and Trauma DepartmentUsmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching HospitalSokotoNigeria
  3. 3.Spine Surgery Unit, Department of OrthopaedicsNational Orthopaedic HospitalLagosNigeria

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