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After back surgery failure, vitamin D greatly reduced the pain of every person

Serum 25-hydroxy-calciferol level and failed back surgery syndrome.

J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). 2012 Apr;20(1):18-22.
Waikakul S.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.

PURPOSE. To assess the association of serum 25-hydroxy-calciferol levels with pain and low back function in patients with failed back surgery syndrome.

METHODS. Records of 6 men and 3 women aged 25 to 54 (mean, 39.2) years who had failed back surgery syndrome after pedicular screw and rod instrumentation for lower lumbar degenerative diseases were reviewed. They had moderate-to-severe pain (visual analogue scale [VAS] score of >6) and low back function disability (Japanese Orthopaedic Association [JOA] back score of <10). In all patients, the serum 25-hydroxy-calciferol level was <30 ng/ ml, indicating vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D2 (20 000 IU per day) was given for 10 days, and vitamin D3 (600 IU per day) was given for maintenance. Patients were followed up at months 3 and 6. Three men and 4 women aged 27 to 55 (mean, 41.3) years who were age- and disease-matched but achieved good outcomes (VAS score of 0-1 and mean JOA low back score of 14.7) were used as indirect referents. All 7 matched patients except one had a normal serum 25-hydroxy-calciferol level (mean, 40.6 ng/ml).

RESULTS. In the 9 patients with failed back surgery syndrome, the mean duration of chronic pain was 2.6 years; the mean VAS score for pain was 7.7; the mean JOA low back score was 7.6; the mean number of reoperations was 2.2; and the mean serum 25-hydroxy-calciferol level was 17.0 ng/ml. Two male patients had grade-IV motor weakness and decreased sensory function based on the pin prick test. One patient had a history of prolonged (>3 months) antibiotic use after primary surgery, but had no evidence of infection. Six months after vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation, the mean serum 25-hydroxy-calciferol level improved significantly (17.0 vs. 42.5 ng/ml), as did the mean pain score (7.7 vs. 4.2) and mean JOA back score (7.6 vs. 11.1). Seven of the patients had a pain score of <6 and a JOA back score of >10, the remaining 2 patients had neurological deficits and only slight improvement.

CONCLUSION. Vitamin D supplementation may be used as an adjuvant treatment for patients with failed back surgery syndrome.

PMID: 22535805

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VitaminDWiki suspects

  1. D3 would have resulted in a much better response
  2. Higher maintenance dose of vitamin D (perhaps 4,000 IU) would have reduced pain far more
  3. D3 would have greatly reduced the need for the back surgery in the first place

See also VitaminDWiki

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
3897 failed back surgery.pdf PDF admin 13 May, 2014 13:29 146.28 Kb 719