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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2147408, 10 pages
Research Article

Long-Term Course to Lumbar Disc Resorption Patients and Predictive Factors Associated with Disc Resorption

Jaseng Spine and Joint Research Institute, Jaseng Medical Foundation, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to In-Hyuk Ha

Received 18 April 2017; Accepted 5 June 2017; Published 9 July 2017

Academic Editor: Gihyun Lee

Copyright © 2017 Jinho Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The long-term course to lumbar intervertebral disc herniation (LDH) patients receiving integrative Korean medicine treatment and predictive factors associated with disc resorption were investigated. LDH patients who received integrative Korean medicine treatment from February 2012 to December 2015 and were registered in the “longitudinal project for LDH on MRI” were included. Disc resorption amount was measured 3-dimensionally with disc degeneration and modic change levels on baseline and follow-up MRIs. Patient characteristics, Korean medicine use, pain, symptom recurrence, and satisfaction were assessed through medical records and phone surveys. Of 505 participants, 19 did not show disc resorption, while 486 did. A total of 220 displayed resorption rates of ≥50%. LDH volume at baseline was  mm3, and that on follow-up MRI was  mm3, indicating a 47.5% decrease (). Predictive factors for disc resorption were disc extrusion, Komori migration classification, and LDH amount. Approximately 68.4% did not experience symptom recurrence over the -month follow-up, and 90.3% were satisfied with Korean medicine treatment. The majority of LDH patients who improved after integrative Korean medicine treatment showed disc resorption within 1 year with favorable long-term outcomes. Predictive factors for disc resorption should be duly considered for informed decision-making. This trial is registered with NCT02841163.