International Orthopaedics

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 975–980 | Cite as

The evidence-based approach for surgical complications in the treatment of lumbar disc herniation

  • Robert HarperEmail author
  • Eric Klineberg



The purpose of this article is to review the evidence-based approach for surgical complications following disc herniation.


A search of the primary English literature was conducted for research examining the outcomes and complications of surgical discectomy. Special regard was given to high-quality prospective randomized studies.


The most commonly reported complications of surgical treatment of disc herniation are included in this review. Medical complications, and surgical complications including infection, durotomy, neurological injury, symptomatic re-herniation, and revision surgery are defined and systematically reviewed in detail for incidence, evaluation, and management.


This article provides the clinician and surgeon with a review of the evidence-based evaluation and management of surgical complications following disc herniation, offering best practice guidelines for informed discussions with patients in shared decision-making.


Disc herniation Lumbar microdiscectomy Complications Durotomy Re-herniation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Eric Klineberg MD declares personal fees from Depuy Synthes, personal fees from Stryker, personal fees from K2M, personal fees from Springer, personal fees from Trevena, personal fees from Allosource, grants and personal fees from AO Spine, personal fees from Medicrea, outside of the submitted work.

Robert Harper MD declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryUniversity of California DavisSacramentoUSA

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