A study conducted by Dr. Sasha Gulati of St. Olavs University hospital located in Trondheim, Norway measured the affects debilitating chronic back pain in patients of older and younger ages by also measuring the results of their herniated disk surgeries. There were 380 people over the age of 65 included in the study, and nearly 5,200 people younger than 65 taken into account.

Although the patients over 65 felt more relief following the surgery than their counterpart, they also showed a greater likelihood of encountering minor risks while in the hospital or within 3 months of discharge; therefore, the same older subjects were typically in the hospital for an extended period of time as opposed to patients under 65. These findings were published online on February 22nd, 2017 in JAMA Surgery.

Regardless of the subjects’ age, all subjects showed a significant amount of disability relief following surgery. Both subjects also showed the same amount of improved quality of life and leg pain.

Based on the results of this study, medical evidence still shows that age alone should not factor into the surgery decision making process. As long as the individual is fit enough for surgery, then they should seek relief.

Key Points:

  • 1Surgery is a very good option for people of all ages with herniated disks in their lower back.
  • 2After the lower back surgery patients of all ages felt an improved quality of life and decreased leg pain.
  • 3Patients older than 65 while experiencing greater lower back pain relief were also more likely to have post surgery complications and longer hospital stays.


The evidence suggests that “age alone should not be a contraindication to surgery, as long as the individual is fit for surgery,

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