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Table 1 Selection criteria for patient eligibility

From: Effectiveness of percutaneous laser disc decompression versus conventional open discectomy in the treatment of lumbar disc herniation; design of a prospective randomized controlled trial

Inclusion:
   *Age 18–70 years
   *Persistent Radicular pain lasting more than 6–8 weeks
   *Operation indication
   *Disc herniation confirmed at MRI
   *Unilateral disc herniation smaller or equal to 1/3 of the spinal canal
   *Informed consent
Exclusion:
   *Previous surgery at the same disc level
   *Cauda equina Syndrome
   *Spondylolytic or degenerative spondylolisthesis
   *Central spinal canal stenosis
   *Pregnancy
   *Severe somatic or psychiatric illness
   *Planned (e)migration to another country in the year after the inclusion
   *Inadequate verbal or writing skills in Dutch language