What measurement means for herniated disc surgery

Herniated disc surgery is an option to treat back pain caused by a back disc that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord. Also known as a discectomy or laminotomy, herniated disc surgery removes all or part of a damaged disc that is pressing on nerve tissue and causing symptoms. The goal of herniated disc surgery is to improve pain, function and mobility so you can continue with daily activities such as sitting, standing and walking.

The recommended approach to assessing patients with herniated disc problems and pain, as well as measuring success of herniated disc surgery for those patients, is the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) tool before and after surgery. High rates of patients completing this survey can be a sign of strong clinic performance in measuring the effectiveness of surgery.

The Herniated Disc Surgery: Assessing Symptoms measure reports how many patients answered questions about their back problems before and after herniated disc surgery.

The statewide rate of using the ODI tool to assess patients before and after herniated disc surgery by all reporting medical groups is 37%. This means 37 of 100 patients who had herniated disc surgery completed a survey about their pack pain, function and mobility before surgery and three (3) months after surgery.

It’s important to know that small differences in scores don’t necessarily reflect the quality of care you’ll receive with a specific medical group. It is more important to note large differences between providers, and speak with your doctor if you have questions or concerns.

Don’t see your medical group listed? While some of the medical groups in Minnesota that provided data for this measure didn’t have enough patients to have valid, reportable results, other medical groups chose not to submit data at all. For consumers, this means that some important information is missing that would help you have a better understanding of the outcomes from this surgery.

How we calculate the measure

We measure how many herniated disc surgery patients completed a survey called the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) tool before surgery and three (3) months after surgery. The ODI asks 10 questions about back pain, function and mobility.

This report is based on surgeries performed from January 1 to December 31, 2013. This information is collected under the measure name Spinal Surgery - Lumbar Discectomy/Laminotomy.