May 1999 Volume 16 Number 24
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Japan
Study Outcomes & Clinical Relevance:
Back muscle injury was directly related to the muscle retraction time during surgery. The damage to the multifidus muscle was more severe and the recovery of extensor muscle strength was delayed in the long retraction time group. In addition, the incidence of postoperative low back pain was significantly higher in the long retraction time group.
Although lumbar surgery is often thought to fix whatever is broken, it can introduce new dysfunction such as injury to the multifidi musculature. An active course of spinal therapy to specifically retrain the multifidi may decrease postoperative low back pain resulting from weakness associated with muscular insult.