Vishal Kumar, Parth Bansal, Mehar Dhillon, Sarvdeep Singh Dhatt, Arvind Janardhan Vatkar

September 2023, pp 1 - 14 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-023-07914-y

First Online: 02 September 2023


Calcified lumbar disc herniation (CLDH) poses surgical challenges due to longstanding disease and adherence of herniated disc to the surrounding neural structures. The data regarding outcomes after surgery for CLDH are limited. This review was conducted to analyse the surgical techniques, perioperative findings and the postoperative clinical outcomes after surgery for CLDH.


PRISMA guidelines were followed whilst conducting this systematic review and meta-analysis. The literature review was conducted on 3 databases (PubMed, EMBASE, and CINAHL). After thorough screening of all search results, 9 studies were shortlisted from which data were extracted and statistical analysis was done. Pooled analysis was done to ascertain the perioperative and postoperative outcomes after surgery for CLDH. Additional comparative analysis was done compared to CLDH with non-calcified lumbar disc herniation (NCLDH) cases.


We included 9 studies published between 2016 and 2022 in our review, 8 of these were retrospective. A total of 356 cases of CLDH were evaluated in these studies with a male preponderance (56.4%). Mean operative time was significantly lower in NCLDH cases compared to CLDH cases. The mean estimated blood loss showed a negative correlation with the percentage of males. Satisfactory clinical outcomes were observed in majority of patients. The risk of bias of the included studies was moderate to high.


Surgical difficulties in CLDH cases leads to increase in operative time compared to NCLDH. Good clinical outcomes can be obtained with careful planning; the focus of surgery should be on decompression of the neural structures rather than disc removal.

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