The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of psychosocial factors on pain levels and depression, before and after surgical treatment, in patients with degenerative lumbar and cervical vertebral disc disease.
The study included 188 patients (98 women, 90 men) who were confirmed to have cervical or lumbar degenerative disc disease on magnetic resonance imaging, and who underwent a single microdiscectomy procedure, with no postoperative surgical complications. All patients completed two questionnaires before and after surgery – the Beck Depression Inventory scale (I–IV) and the Visual Analog Scale for pain (0–10). On hospital admission, all patients completed a social and demographic questionnaire. The first pain and depression questionnaire evaluations were performed on the day of hospital admission (n=188); the second on the day of hospital discharge, 7 days after surgery (n=188); and the third was 6 months after surgery (n=140).
Patient ages ranged from 22 to 72 years, and 140 patients had lumbar disc disease (mean age, 42.7±10.99 years) and 44 had cervical disc disease (mean age, 48.9±7.85 years). Before surgery, symptoms of depression were present in 47.3% of the patients (11.7% cervical; 35.6% lumbar), at first postoperative evaluation in 25.1% of patients (7% cervical; 18.1% lumbar), and 6 months following surgery in 31.1% of patients (7.5% cervical; 23.6% lumbar). Patients with cervical disc disease who were unemployed had the highest incidence of depression before and after surgery ( p=0.037). Patients with lumbar disc disease who had a primary level of education or work involving standing had the highest incidence of depression before and after surgery ( p=0.368).