Percutaneous approaches to lumbar discectomy were somewhat controversial, because of their limited indications. They have not proven to be as effective as standard open lumbar disc surgery, because of longer operating times and some technical problems in addressing all the different aspects of lumbar disc herniations. New percutaneous posterior procedures for lumbar disc disease have been described in the last few years, but the MicroEndoscopic Discectomy (MED) introduced by Foley and Smith in 1997 seems to be the most promising one. MED, and METR’x which evolved from it, . allow the surgeon to address not only contained lumbar disc herniations, but also free-fragment disc pathology and symptomatic lateral recess stenosis secondary to bony hypertrophy. The surgical technique is summarized and some preliminary clinical results of a prospective multicenter study with 13 months’ mean follow-up are presented.
Key words Disc herniation; Posterior approach; Microdiscectomy; Endoscopic ¶approach
Open discectomy remains the standard method for treatment of lumbar disc herniation, but can traumatize spinal structure and leaves symptomatic epidural scarring in more than 10% of cases. The usual transforaminal approach may be associated with difficulty reaching the epidural space due to anatomical peculiarities at the L5–S1 level. The endoscopic interlaminar approach can provide a direct pathway for decompression of disc herniation at the L5–S1 level. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical results of endoscopic interlaminar lumbar discectomy at the L5–S1 level and compare the technique feasibility, safety, and efficacy under local and general anesthesia (LA and GA, respectively).
One hundred twenty-three patients with L5–S1 disc herniation underwent endoscopic interlaminar lumbar discectomy from October 2006 to June 2009 by two spine surgeons using different anesthesia preferences in two medical centers. Visual analog scale (VAS) scores for back pain and leg pain and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) sores were recorded preoperatively, and at 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. Results were compared to evaluate the technique feasibility, safety, and efficacy under LA and GA.
VAS scores for back pain and leg pain and ODI revealed statistically significant improvement when they were compared with preoperative values. Mean hospital stay was statistically shorter in the LA group. Complications included one case of dural tear with rootlet injury and three cases of recurrence within 1 month who subsequently required open surgery or endoscopic interlaminar lumbar discectomy. There were no medical or infectious complications in either group.
Disc herniation at the L5–S1 level can be adequately treated endoscopically with an interlaminar approach. GA and LA are both effective for this procedure. However, LA is better than GA in our opinion.
General anesthesia; interlaminar approach; local anesthesia; lumbar disc herniation; percutaneous endoscopic discectomy
A retrospective study.
To determine the feasibility and effectiveness of revisional percutaneous full endoscopic discectomy for recurrent herniation after conventional open disc surgery.
Overview of the Literature
Repeated open discectomy with or without fusion has been the most common procedure for recurrent lumbar disc herniation. Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy for recurrent herniation has been thought of as an impossible procedure. Despite good results with open revisional surgery, major problems may be caused by injuries to the posterior stabilized structures. Our team did revisional full endoscopic lumbar disc surgery on the basis of our experience doing primary full endoscopic disc surgery.
Between February 2004 and August 2009 a total of 41 patients in our hospital underwent revisional percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy using a YESS endoscopic system and a micro-osteotome (designed by the authors). Indications for surgery were recurrent disc herniation following conventional open discectomy; with compression of the nerve root revealed by Gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging; corresponding radiating pain which was not alleviated after conservative management over 6 weeks. Patients with severe neurologic deficits and isolated back pain were excluded.
The mean follow-up period was 16 months (range, 13 to 42 months). The visual analog scale for pain in the leg and back showed significant post-treatment improvement (p < 0.001). Based on a modified version of MacNab's criteria, 90.2% showed excellent or good outcomes. There was no measurable blood loss. There were two cases of recurrence of and four cases with complications.
Percutaneous full-endoscopic revisional disc surgery without additional structural damage is feasible and effective in terms of there being less chance of fusion and bleeding. This technique can be an alternative to conventional repeated discectomy.
Endoscopic discectomy; Interlaminar discectomy; Transforaminal discectomy; Percutaneous discectomy; Recurrent disc herniation; Lumbar spine
Microendoscopic discectomy (MED) has been accepted as a minimally invasive procedure for lumbar discectomy because of the small skin incision and short hospital stay required for this surgery. However, there are few objective laboratory data to confirm the reduced systemic responses in the early phase after this procedure. In order to substantiate the reduced invasiveness of MED compared to microdiscectomy (MD) or procedures involved in one-level unilateral laminotomy, the invasiveness of each surgical procedure was evaluated by measuring serum levels of biochemical parameters reflective of a post-operative inflammatory reaction and damage to the paravertebral muscles. Thirty-three patients who underwent lumbar discectomy or one-level unilateral laminotomy (MED in 15 cases, MD in 11 cases and one-level unilateral laminotomy in 7 cases with lumbar spinal canal stenosis) were included in this study. The serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and creatine phosphokinase (CPK) were measured at 24 h after operation. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and Interleukin-10 (IL-10) were measured at 2, 4, 8 and −24 h following the surgery to monitor the inflammatory response to the respective surgery. The post-operative serum CRP levels from both the MD and MED groups were significantly lower than those from the open laminotomy group. However, there was no significant difference in these serum levels between the MED and MD groups. The levels of IL-6 and IL-10 in the MED group during0 the first post-operative day were also significantly lower than those in the laminotomy group. When the MED and MD groups were compared, the IL-6 levels in the MED group were lower than in MD group at 2, 4 and 8 h after surgery, but the differences were not statistically significant. However, the level was significantly lower in the MED group at 24 h after surgery. In terms of IL-10, no significant difference was noted between the MED and MD groups over the study period. The changes in serum levels of post-operative inflammatory: markers (CRP, IL-6 and IL-10) in the early phase indicated reduced inflammatory reactions in MED as well as in MD when compared with classical open unilateral laminotomy. These data draw a direct link between the lower level of the inflammatory response and reduced invasiveness of MED. However, an indicator for muscle damage (CPK) appeared not to be affected by the type of surgical procedure used to correct disc herniation.
Microendoscopic discectomy; Microdiscectomy; Lumbar disc herniation; Minimally invasive surgery
Open discectomy is the standard surgical procedure in the treatment of patients with long-lasting sciatica caused by lumbar disc herniation. Minimally invasive approaches such as microendoscopic discectomy have gained attention in recent years. Reduced tissue trauma allows early ambulation, short hospital stay and quick resumption of daily activities. A comparative cost-effectiveness study has not been performed yet. We present the design of a randomised controlled trial on cost-effectiveness of microendoscopic discectomy versus conventional open discectomy in patients with lumbar disc herniation.
Patients (age 18–70 years) presenting with sciatica due to lumbar disc herniation lasting more than 6–8 weeks are included. Patients with disc herniation larger than 1/3 of the spinal canal diameter, or disc herniation less than 1/3 of the spinal canal diameter with concomitant lateral recess stenosis or sequestration, are eliglible for participation. Randomisation into microendoscopic discectomy or conventional unilateral transflaval discectomy will take place in the operating room after induction of anesthesia. The length of skin incision is equal in both groups. The primary outcome measure is the functional assessment of the patient, measured by the Roland Disability Questionnaire for Sciatica, at 8 weeks and 1 year after surgery. We will also evaluate several other outcome parameters, including perceived recovery, leg and back pain, incidence of re-operations, complications, serum creatine kinase, quality of life, medical consumption, absenteeism and costs. The study is a randomised prospective multi-institutional trial, in which two surgical techniques are compared in a parallel group design. Patients and research nurses are kept blinded of the allocated treatment during the follow-up period of 2 years.
Currently, open discectomy is the golden standard in the surgical treatment of lumbar disc herniation. Whether microendoscopic discectomy is more cost-effective than unilateral transflaval discectomy has to be determined by this trial.
This study investigated electromyographic (EMG) activity as a marker of nerve root irritation during two different surgical procedures for lumbar disc herniation. Mechanically elicited EMG activity was recorded during the dynamic stages of surgery in muscle groups innervated by lumbar nerve roots. Confirmation of surgical activity was correlated with the activity of the electromyogram. Fifteen patients with lumbar disc herniations were treated via an endoscopic medial approach, and 15 patients via the open microscopic surgical technique. Results indicated that the endoscopic technique was superior to the open surgical technique and produced less irritation of the nerve root. Significantly less mechanically elicited activity was recorded during both the approach and the root mobilization. The study showed that microendoscopic discectomy allows a smaller incision and less tissue trauma with comparable visualization of the nerve structures than does open surgery.
Microendoscopic discectomy Intraoperative EMG Lumbar disc herniation
Although percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD) has shown favorable outcomes in the majority of lumbar discectomy cases, there were also some failures. The most common cause of failure is the incomplete removal of disc fragments. The skin entry point for the guide-needle trajectory and the optimal placement of the working sleeve are largely blind, which might lead to the inadequate removal of disc fragments. The objective of this study was to present our early experiences with image-guided PELD using a specially designed fluoroscope with magnetic resonance imaging-equipped operative suite (XMR) for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation.
This prospective study included 89 patients who had undergone PELD via the transforaminal approach using an XMR protocol. Pre- and postoperative examinations (at 12 weeks) included a detailed clinical history, visual analogue scale (VAS), Oswestry disability index (ODI), and radiological workups. The results were categorized as excellent, good, fair, and poor according to MacNab's criteria. At the final follow-up, the minimum follow-up time for the subjects was 2 years. The need for revision surgeries and postoperative complications were noted on follow-up.
Postoperative mean ODI decreased from 67.4% to 5.61%. Mean VAS score for back and leg pain improved significantly from 4 to 2.3 and from 7.99 to 1.04, respectively. Four (4.49%) patients underwent a second-stage PELD after intraoperative XMR had shown remnant fragments after the first stage. As per MacNab's criteria, 76 patients (85.4%) showed excellent, 8 (8.89%) good, 3 (3.37%) fair, and 2 (2.25) poor results. Four (4.49%) patients had remnant disc fragments on XMR, which were removed during the same procedure. All of these patients had either highly migrated or sequestrated disc fragments preoperatively. Four (4.49%) other patients needed a second, open surgery due to symptomatic postoperative hematoma (n = 2) and recurrent disc herniation (n = 2).
This prospective analysis indicates that XMR-assisted PELD provides a precise skin entry point. It also confirms that decompression occurs intraoperatively, which negates the need for a separate surgery and thus increases the success rate of PELD, particularly in highly migrated or sequestrated discs. However, further extensive experience is required to confirm the advantages and feasibility of PELD in terms of cost effectiveness.
Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy; Incomplete disc removal; XMR-guided procedure; High success rate
Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy is a relatively new technique. Very few studies have reported the clinical outcome of percutaneous endoscopic discectomy in terms of quality of life and return to work.
55 patients with percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy done from 2002 to 2006 had their clinical outcomes reviewed in terms of the North American Spine Score (NASS), Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 scores (SF-36) and Pain Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and return to work.
The mean age was 35.6 years, the mean operative time was 55.8 minutes and the mean length of follow-up was 3.4 years. The mean hospital stay for endoscopic discectomy was 17.3 hours. There was significant reduction in the severity of back pain and lower limb symptoms (NASS and VAS, p < 0.05) at 6 months and 2 years. There was significant improvement in all aspects of the Quality of Life (SF-36, p < 0.05) scores except for general health at 6 months and 2 years postoperation. The recurrence rate was 5% (3 patients). 5% (3 patients) subsequently underwent lumbar fusion for persistent back pain. All patients returned to their previous occupation after surgery at a mean time of 24.3 days.
Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy is associated with improvement in back pain and lower limb symptoms postoperation which translates to improvement in quality of life. It has the advantage that it can be performed on a day case basis with short length of hospitalization and early return to work thus improving quality of life earlier.
We present a case of an acute psoas muscle hematoma following percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy. A 60-year-old female who presented with far lateral lumbar disc herniation underwent endoscopic discectomy on the right side at the L4-5 level. On the second postoperative day, the patient complained of severe right flank and leg pain and her blood pressure decreased. A computed tomography scan showed a large acute psoas muscle hematoma at right L4-5 level. The patient was transfused with packed red blood cells and placed at absolute bed rest. After observing the patient in intensive care, the severe flank and leg pain subsided, but the mild back pain persisted. Although percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy is an effective minimally invasive surgical technique for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation, this case highlights the inherent risks of acute lumbar segmental vessel injury.
Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy; Psoas muscle hematoma; Lumbar segmental vessel injury
Lumbar discectomy is a surgery to remove all or part of a disc cushion that helps protect the spinal column. These cushions, called disks, separate the spinal vertebrae/bones. When one of the disks herniates (moves out of place) in patients with protruded disc, the soft gel inside pushes through the wall of the disk. The disk may then place pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that are coming out of the spinal column.
The lumbar discectomy procedure remained basically unchanged until the operating microscope enhanced the visualization of the operative field in 1978. This new operation was recognized as lumbar microdiscectomy because it was performed through a smaller incision, with less dissection than standard open lumbar discectomy. Microdiscectomy is regarded generally as a technical modification of standard discectomy, rather than a separate procedure. In a systematic review by Gibson and Waddell, results of microdiscectomy for treatment of lumbar disc prolapse was “broadly comparable” to the standard open lumbar discectomy. (Conventional microdiscectomy is now considered common surgical treatment for lumbar disc herniation).
Several minimally invasive surgical approaches have been introduced for the surgical management of symptomatic lumbar disc herniation. The effectiveness of these procedures should be compared with lumbar microdiscectomy. Systematic reviews comparing specific types of minimally invasive lumbar surgery for management of lumbar disc herniation and lumbar radiculopathy, but did not yield conclusive results due to a lack of evidence. In this paper, we perform a systematic review of the literature and draw conclusions about safety and efficacy of minimally invasive discectomy compared to standard microdiscectomy.
Minimally invasive discectomy, Microdiscectomy, Disk herniation
Posterior endoscopic discectomy is an established method for treatment of lumbar disc herniation. Many studies have not been reported in literature for lumbar discectomy by Destandau Endospine System. We report a series of 300 patients operated for lumbar dissectomy by Destandau Endospine system.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 300 patients suffering from lumbar disc herniations were operated between January 2002 and December 2008. All patients were operated as day care procedure. Technique comprised localization of symptomatic level followed by insertion of an endospine system devise through a 15 mm skin and fascial incision. Endoscopic discectomy is then carried out by conventional micro disc surgery instruments by minimal invasive route. The results were evaluated by Macnab's criteria after a minimum followup of 12 months and maximum up to 24 months.
Based on modified Macnab's criteria, 90% patients had excellent to good, 8% had fair, and 2% had poor results. The complications observed were discitis and dural tear in five patients each and nerve root injury in two patients. 90% patients were able to return to light and sedentary work with an average delay of 3 weeks and normal physical activities after 2 months.
Edoscopic discectomy provides a safe and minimal access corridor for lumbar discectomy. The technique also allows early postoperative mobilization and faster return to work.
Endoscope; endoscopic discectomy; endospine; facetectomy; laminotomy; radiculopathy
Endoscopic discectomy method is a novel technique that is increasingly used in spine surgery. Previous studies have reported that some common complications like dural adhesions are lower in this technique compared with the other techniques. Furthermore, treatment outcomes are reportedly higher because of minimal invasion. Thepresent study aims to determine the outcome of percutaneous endoscopic discectomy.
A total of 130 patients underwent the lumbar disc prolapse operations during 2008 to 2012 in all of them the entire procedure was performed endoscopically. All procedures were carried out from a posterior approach using a 4-mm Hopkins 0 degrees-telescope placed in the working insert equipped with channels for suction tube, operative instruments and nerve root retractor (ENDOSPINE instrumentation (Karl STORZ GmbH and Co. KG). The pre- and post-operation pain was assessed using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Furthermore, the treatment outcome was assessed using modified MacNab criteria before operation, 24 hours, one month, 2 months, 6 months, one year, and two years after operation .
Good to excellent outcome was achieved in 89% of patients, which is comparable with the results of classic microdiscectomy. The mean age of patients was 35.6 years old and the mean length of follow-up was 3.4 years. There was significant reduction in the severity of back pain and lower limb symptoms at 6 months and 2 years post-operation. There was significant improvement in all aspects of the Quality of Life scores at 6 months and 2 years post-operation. In 3 patients the dural sac was lacerated but none of the tears was exceed a few mm in length with not association with neural injury.
Findings of this study showed that percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy is associated with improvement in back pain and lower limb symptoms. It has the advantage that it can be performed on a day case basis with short length of hospitalization and early return to work thus improving quality of life earlier.
Endoscopic discectomy, Spine surgery, Lumbar disc prolapse operation, Outcome
The purpose of this study was to compare clinical and radiological outcomes of percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD) and open lumbar microdiscectomy (OLM) for recurrent disc herniation.
Fifty-four patients, who underwent surgery, either PELD (25 patients) or repeated OLM (29 patients), due to recurrent disc herniation at L4-5 level, were divided into two groups according to the surgical methods. Excluded were patients with sequestrated disc, calcified disc, severe neurological deficit, or instability. Clinical outcomes were assessed using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Radiological variables were assessed using plain radiography and/or magnetic resonance imaging.
Mean operating time and hospital stay were significantly shorter in PELD group (45.8 minutes and 0.9 day, respectively) than OLM group (73.8 minutes and 3.8 days, respectively) (p < 0.001). Complications occurred in 4% in PELD group and 10.3% in OLM group in the perioperative period. At a mean follow-up duration of 34.2 months, the mean improvements of back pain, leg pain, and functional improvement were 4.0, 5.5, and 40.9% for PELD group and 2.3, 5.1, and 45.0% for OLM group, respectively. Second recurrence occurred in 4% after PELD and 10.3% after OLM. Disc height did not change after PELD, but significantly decreased after OLM (p = 0.0001). Neither sagittal rotation angle nor volume of multifidus muscle changed significantly in both groups.
Both PELD and repeated OLM showed favorable outcomes for recurrent disc herniation, but PELD had advantages in terms of shorter operating time, hospital stay, and disc height preservation.
Reherniation; Discectomy; Lumbar spine
Post-surgical lumbar instability is an established complication but there is limited evidence in the literature regarding the incidence of lumbar instability following fenestration and discectomy. We analyzed our results following fenestration discectomy with a special focus on instability.
Materials and Methods:
Eighty-three patients between the age of 17 and 52 years who had undergone fenestration discectomy for a single-level lumbar intervertebral disc prolapse were followed-up for a period of 1–5 years. The criteria for instability included “instability catch,”, “painful catch,” and “apprehension.” The working capacity of the patient and the outcome score of the surgery were assessed by means of the Oswestry disability score and the Prolo economic and functional outcome score. Flexion-extension lateral radiographs were taken and analyzed for abnormal tilt and translation.
Of the 83 patients included, 70 were men and 13 were women, with an average age of 37.35 years (17–52 years) at 5 years follow-up. Clinical instability was seen in 10 (12.04%) patients. Radiological instability was noted in 29 (34.9%) patients. Only six (60%) of the 10 patients who demonstrated clinical instability had radiological evidence of instability. Twenty (68.96%) patients with radiological instability were asymptomatic. Three (10.34%) patients with only radiological instability had unsatisfactory outcome. The Oswestry scoring showed an average score of 19.8%. Mild disability was noted in 59 (71.08%) patients and moderate disability was seen in 24 (28.91%) patients. None of the patients had severe disability. These outcomes were compared with the outcomes in other studies in the literature for microdiscectomy and the results were found to be comparable.
The favorable outcome of this study is in good agreement with other studies on microdiscectomy. Clinical instability in 12.04% of the patients is in agreement with other studies. Radiological signs of instability are seen even in asymptomatic patients and so are not as reliable as clinical signs of instability. Standard fenestration discectomy does not destabilize the spine more than microdiscectomy.
Discectomy; fenestration; instability
Degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis (DLSS) has become increasingly common and is characterized by multilevel disc herniation and lumbar spondylolisthesis, which are difficult to treat. The current study aimed to evaluate the short-term clinical outcomes and value of the combined use of microendoscopic discectomy (MED) and minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) for the treatment of multilevel DLSS with spondylolisthesis, and to compare the combination with traditional posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF). A total of 26 patients with multilevel DLSS and spondylolisthesis underwent combined MED and MI-TLIF surgery using a single cage and pedicle rod-screw system. These cases were compared with 27 patients who underwent traditional PLIF surgery during the same period. Data concerning incision length, surgery time, blood loss, time of bed rest and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score prior to and following surgery were analyzed statistically. Statistical significance was reached in terms of incision length, blood loss and the time of bed rest following surgery (P<0.05), but there was no significant difference between the surgery time and ODI scores of the two groups. The combined use of MED and MI-TLIF has the advantages of reduced blood loss, less damage to the paraspinal soft tissue, shorter length of incision, shorter bed rest time, improved outcomes and shorter recovery times and has similar short-term clinical outcomes to traditional PLIF.
microendoscopic discectomy; minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; posterior lumbar interbody fusion; lumbar spinal stenosis; lumbar spondylolisthesis
No consensus exists on how rehabilitation programs for lumbar discectomy patients with persistent complaints after surgery should be composed. A better understanding of normal and abnormal postoperative trunk muscle condition might help direct the treatment goals.
A three-dimensional CT scan of the lumbar spine was obtained in 18 symptomatic and 18 asymptomatic patients who had undergone a lumbar discectomy 42 months to 83 months (median 63 months) previously. The psoas muscle (PS), the paraspinal muscle mass (PA) and the multifidus muscle (MF) were outlined at the L3, L4 and L5 level. Of these muscles, fat free Cross Sectional Area (CSA) and fat CSA were determined. CSA of the lumbar erector spinae (LES = longissimus thoracis + iliocostalis lumborum) was calculated by subtracting MF CSA from PA CSA. Mean muscle CSA of the left and right sides was calculated at each level. To normalize the data for interpersonal comparison, the mean CSA was divided by the CSA of the L3 vertebral body (mCSA = normalized fat-free muscle CSA; fCSA = normalized fat CSA). Differences in CSA between the pain group and the pain free group were examined using a General Linear Model (GLM). Three levels were examined to investigate the possible role of the level of operation.
In lumbar discectomy patients with pain, the mCSA of the MF was significantly smaller than in pain-free subjects (p = 0.009) independently of the level. The mCSA of the LES was significantly smaller in pain patients, but only on the L3 slice (p = 0.018). No significant difference in mCSA of the PS was found between pain patients and pain-free patients (p = 0.462). The fCSA of the MF (p = 0.186) and of the LES (p = 0.256) were not significantly different between both populations. However, the fCSA of the PS was significantly larger in pain patients than in pain-free patients. (p = 0.012).
The level of operation was never a significant factor.
CT comparison of MF, LES and PS muscle condition between lumbar discectomy patients without pain and patients with protracted postoperative pain showed a smaller fat-free muscle CSA of the MF at all levels examined, a smaller fat- free muscle CSA of the LES at the L3 level, and more fat in the PS in patients with pain. The level of operation was not found to be of importance. The present results suggest a general lumbar muscle dysfunction in the pain group, in particular of the deep stabilizing muscle system.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of endoscopic decompression surgery for intraforaminal and extraforaminal nerve root compression in the lumbar spine.
The records from seventeen consecutive patients treated with endoscopic posterior decompression without fusion for intaforaminal and extraforaminal nerve root compression in the lumbar spine (7 males and 10 females, mean age: 67.9 ± 10.7 years) were retrospectively reviewed. The surgical procedures consisted of lateral or translaminal decompression with or without discectomy. The following items were investigated: 1) the preoperative clinical findings; 2) the radiologic findings including MRI and computed tomography-discography; and 3) the surgical outcome as evaluated using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association scale for lower back pain (JOA score).
All patients had neurological findings compatible with a radiculopathy, such as muscle weakness and sensory disturbance. MRI demonstrated the obliteration of the normal increased signal intensity fat in the intervertebral foramen. Ten patients out of 14 who underwent computed tomography-discography exhibited disc protrusion or herniation. Selective nerve root block was effective in all patients. During surgery, 12 patients were found to have a protruded disc or herniation that compressed the nerve root. Sixteen patients reported pain relief immediately after surgery.
Intraforaminal and extraforaminal nerve root compression is a rare but distinct pathological condition causing severe radiculopathy. Endoscopic decompression surgery is considered to be an appropriate and less invasive surgical option.
Existing studies on micro-endoscopic lumbar discectomy report similar outcomes to those of open and microdiscectomy and conflicting results on complications. We designed a randomised controlled trial to investigate the hypothesis of different outcomes and complications obtainable with the three techniques. 240 patients aged 18–65 years affected by posterior lumbar disc herniation and symptoms lasting over 6 weeks of conservative management were randomised to micro-endoscopic (group 1), micro (group 2) or open (group 3) discectomy. Exclusion criteria were less than 6 weeks of pain duration, cauda equina compromise, foraminal or extra-foraminal herniations, spinal stenosis, malignancy, previous spinal surgery, spinal deformity, concurrent infection and rheumatic disease. Surgery and follow-up were made at a single Institution. A biomedical researcher independently collected and reviewed the data. ODI, back and leg VAS and SF-36 were the outcome measures used preoperatively, postoperatively and at 6-, 12- and 24-month follow-up. 212/240 (91%) patients completed the 24-month follow-up period. VAS back and leg, ODI and SF36 scores showed clinically and statistically significant improvements within groups without significant difference among groups throughout follow-up. Dural tears, root injuries and recurrent herniations were significantly more common in group 1. Wound infections were similar in group 2 and 3, but did not affect patients in group 1. Overall costs were significantly higher in group 1 and lower in group 3. In conclusion, outcome measures are equivalent 2 years following lumbar discectomy with micro-endoscopy, microscopy or open technique, but severe complications are more likely and costs higher with micro-endoscopy.
Lumbar disc herniation; Discectomy; Microdiscectomy; Micro-endoscopic discectomy
The aim of this retrospective controlled study was to evaluate radiographic degeneration in the lumbar spine of patients who had undergone lumbar discectomy minimum 21 years earlier and its clinical meaning. Indeed, no previous investigation on degenerative changes occurring after lumbar discectomy with a comparable long follow-up has been published. The study participants consisted of 50 patients who had undergone discectomy for lumbar disc herniation. The mean length of follow-up was 25.3 ± 3.0 years. Patients were assessed by Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36), Oswestry Disability Index, and a study-specific questionnaire. Radiographic views of the lumbar spine were obtained from all patients and compared to those of 50 asymptomatic controls. A five-step published classification was used to assess the increasing severity of radiographic changes. CT or MRI scans were also available for 27 patients who had undergone discectomy. Moderate to severe radiographic changes were present in 45 patients (90%) and 34 controls (68%), respectively (P = 0.013). The most prevalent MRI/CT changes were loss of disc height (89%), facet joint arthritis (89%), and endplate changes (57%). Thirty-two of 33 subjects (97%) reporting pain during the last 12 months had significant degeneration on their radiographs, and the frequency of changes was higher with respect to subjects without pain (P = 0.040). In conclusion, standard lumbar discectomy frequently leads to long-term degenerative changes on imaging tests. The presence of moderate to severe degeneration is associated with self-reported pain.
Discectomy; Low back pain; Long term follow-up; Lumbar spine; Radiography; Surgery
Currently, there are over 300,000 lumbar discectomies performed in the US annually without an objective standard for patient selection. A prospective clinical outcome study of 200 cases with 5-year follow-up was used to develop and validate an MRI-based classification scheme to eliminate as much ambiguity as possible. 100 consecutive lumbar microdiscectomies were performed between 1992 and 1995 based on the criteria for “substantial” herniation on MRI. This series was used to develop the MSU Classification as an objective measure of lumbar disc herniation on MRI to define “substantial”. It simply classifies herniation size as 1-2-3 and location as A-B-C, with inter-examiner reliability of 98%. A second prospective series of 100 discectomies was performed between 2000 and 2002, based on the new criteria, to validate this classification scheme. All patients with size-1 lesions were electively excluded from surgical consideration in our study. The Oswestry Disability Index from both series was better than most published outcome norms for lumbar microdiscectomy. The two series reported 96 and 90% good to excellent outcomes, respectively, at 1 year, and 84 and 80% at 5 years. The most frequent types of herniation selected for surgery in each series were types 2-B and 2-AB, suggesting the combined importance of both size and location. The MSU Classification is a simple and reliable method to objectively measure herniated lumbar disc. When used in correlation with appropriate clinical findings, the MSU Classification can provide objective criteria for surgery that may lead to a higher percentage of good to excellent outcomes.
MRI; Discectomy; Classification; Substantial herniated disc; Low back pain
Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD) for migrated disc herniations is technically demanding due to the absence of the technical guideline. The purposes of this study were to propose a radiologic classification of disc migration and surgical approaches of PELD according to the classification. A prospective study of 116 consecutive patients undergoing single-level PELD was conducted. According to preoperative MRI findings, disc migration was classified into four zones based on the direction and distance from the disc space: zone 1 (far up), zone 2 (near up), zone 3 (near down), zone 4 (far down). Two surgical approaches were used according to this classification. Near-migrated discs were treated with “half-and-half” technique, which involved positioning a beveled working sheath across the disc space to the epidural space. Far-migrated discs were treated with “epiduroscopic” technique, which involved introducing the endoscope into the epidural space completely. The mean follow-up period was 14.5 (range 9–20) months. According to the Macnab criteria, satisfactory results were as follows: 91.6% (98/107) in the down-migrated discs; 88.9% (8/9) in the up-migrated discs; 97.4% (76/78) in the near-migrated discs; and 78.9% (30/38) in the far-migrated discs. The mean VAS score decreased from 7.5 ± 1.7 preoperatively to 2.6 ± 1.8 at the final follow-up (P < 0.0001). There were no recurrence and no approach-related complications during the follow-up period. The proposed classification and approaches will provide appropriate surgical guideline of PELD for migrated disc herniation. Based on our results, open surgery should be considered for far-migrated disc herniations.
Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy; Migrated disc herniation; Radiologic classification
To evaluate the effectiveness of anterior cervical discectomy with fusion for degenerative cervical disc disease.
Overview of Literature
Anterior spinal surgery originated in the mid-1950s and graft for fusion was also employed. Currently anterior cervical microdiscectomy and fusion with an intervertebral cage is a widely accepted procedure for treatment of cervical disc hernia. Artificial grafts and cages for fusion are preferred because of their lower morbidity, reduced operating time and acceptable fusion rate.
The study involved retrospective analysis and investigation of long-term results for 41 consecutive patients who had undergone anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with an intervertebral cage for cervical disc hernia. The angle of lordosis, segmental height and range of motion were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively at 1 month and 2 years. The clinical outcome was assessed by the visual analog scale and Odom's criteria.
The angle of lordosis increased by 2.62° and the range of motion angle increased by 5.14° after the operation. The segmental height did not change. The visual analog scale and Odom's criteria scores decreased significantly after the operation.
Using a cage in anterior cervical discectomy prevents segmental collapse, so the segmental height and the angle of lordosis are preserved and newly-developed pain does not occur.
Cervical vertebral fusion; Cervical lordosis; Outcome assesment; Range of motion; Polyetheretherketone cage
The goal of a fusion of the lumbar spine is to obtain a primary solid arthrodesis thus to alleviate pain. Different circumferential fusion techniques have been described such as combined anterior–posterior fusion (APF), instrumented posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). The TLIF procedure has rapidly gained popularity; because of its posterolateral extracanalar discectomy and fusion, it has been reported as a safe technique, without the potential complications described when using combined APF and PLIF techniques. A retrospective clinical and radiographic study was performed. The database of our Center was interrogated in a retrospective way to extract data from patients that underwent a one or two level lumbar fusion with TLIF approach. All patients had symptomatic disc degeneration of the lumbar spine. One hundred and fourteen levels fused from 2003 to 2008. All patients were operated in the same center. All the patients were operated by the same surgical team. Patients were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively at 1 and 3 months and 1 and 2 years follow-up. The spine was approached through a classic posterior midline incision and subperiosteal muscular detachment. The side of facetectomy was chosen according to the subject’s symptoms of leg pain if present. A posterolateral annulotomy was made and subtotal discectomy was performed and the hyaline cartilage of endplates was removed. Once the surgeon was satisfied with endplate preparation, a banana shaped allograft spacer was inserted through the annulotomy and placed anteriorly. Additional autograft locally harvested from decompression was packed behind the allograft spacer in all cases. Laminae and the remaining contralateral facet joint were decorticated, and packed with bone graft (local autologous and allograft chips in some cases). The posterior fusion was instrumented with pedicle screws and titanium rods. The TLIF procedure had led to shortened surgical times, less neurologic injury, and improved overall outcomes. The introduction of the TLIF procedure has allowed surgeons to achieve successful fusion without the risk of nerve root tethering that is seen so frequently with standard PLIF techniques.
TLIF; Minimal invasive fusion; Degenerative disc disease; Interbody fusion
If early neurological deterioration occurs following anterior cervical discectomy, the patient should be evaluated by urgent MRI scanning. In order to interpret such a scan it is essential to know what the normal post-operative MRI appearance is following an uncomplicated procedure. In the lumbar spine it is well recognized that early post-operative imaging following discectomy is difficult to interpret with a high rate of false positive scans.The normal appearance of MRI in the early post-operative period was evaluated prospectively in 15 patients undergoing anterior cervical discectomy without fusion for either cervical radiculopathy or myelopathy. MRI was performed on the first post-operative day, at 6 weeks and 6 months. The successful outcome of the procedure was validated by uniform improvement of Visual Analogue Scale measurement for neck and arm pain, the Neck Disability Index and European Myelopathy Score as appropriate.In contrast to the established findings following lumbar discectomy, only two cases showed a persistent epidural mass in the first post-operative scan and this had completely resolved at 6 months. All patients had foraminal narrowing and root or cord compression pre-operatively. Sixty six percent of cases showed persistent foraminal narrowing on sequential imaging up to 6 months despite showing good symptomatic improvement. All cases demonstrated high signal in the operated disc space on T2 weighted imaging on the first post-operative day and this finding persisted in 13 of 15 scans performed at 6 weeks. Post contrast imaging demonstrated no enhancement of operated disc space and adjacent vertebral body on the first post-operative day, whereas all scans at 6 weeks showed enhancement and such enhancement persisted at 6 months in 50%. Persistent epidural filling defects are uncommon following successful anterior cervical discectomy but persistence of foraminal narrowing is common despite successful outcome. Enhancement of the disc space is also common and does not in itself imply infection.
Cervical spine; Anterior cervical discectomy; Post-operative findings; Magnetic resonance imaging
This study was undertaken to prove that the selectively infiltrated parts of nucleus pulposus with indigo carmine was degenerated parts of nucleus pulposus. This study was done, between August and October 2002, in 5 patients, who received endoscopic discectomy, due to intervertebral disc herniation. Discogram was done with mixture of indigo carmine and radioactive dye. Blue discolored part was removed through endoscope, and small undiscolored part was removed together for the control. The two parts were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and compared under the microscope. Undiscolored part was normal nucleus pulposus, composed of chondrocytes with a matrix of type II collagen and proteoglycan, mainly aggrecan. However, in discolored part, slits with destruction of collagen fiber array and ingrowth of vessel and nerve were observed. Using indigo carmine in endoscopic discectomy gives us selective removal of degenerated disc.
Indigo Carmine; Indigotindisulfonate Sodium; Intervertebral Disk; Diskectomy, Percutaneous