Despite the fact that C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and white blood cell (WBC) count are routine blood chemistry parameters for the early assessment of wound infection after surgical procedures, little is known about the natural history of their serum values after major and minimally invasive spinal procedures.
Pre- and postoperative CRP serum levels and WBC count in 347 patients were retrospectively assessed after complication-free, single-level open posterior lumbar interlaminar fusion (PLIF) (n = 150) for disc degeneration and spinal stenosis and endoscopically assisted lumbar discectomy (n = 197) for herniated lumbar disc. Confounding variables such as overweight, ASA classification, arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and perioperative antibiotics were recorded to evaluate their influence on the kinetics of CRP values and WBC count postoperatively.
In both procedures, CRP peaked 2–3 days after surgery. The maximum CRP level was significantly higher after fusion: mean 127 (SD 57) (p < 0.001). A rapid fall in CRP within 4–6 days was observed for both groups, with almost normal values being reached after 14 days. Only BMI > 25 and long duration of surgery were associated with higher peak CRP values. WBC count did not show a typical and therefore interpretable profile.
CRP is a predictable and responsive serum parameter in postoperative monitoring of inflammatory responses in patients undergoing spine surgery, whereas WBC kinetics is unspecific. We suggest that CRP could be measured on the day before surgery, on day 2 or 3 after surgery, and also between days 4 and 6, to aid in early detection of infectious complications.
Various modalities of treatment from standard discectomy, microdiscectomy, percutaneous discectomy, and transforaminal endoscopic discectomy have been in use for lumbar intervertebral disc prolapse. The access to spine is kept to a minimum without stripping paraspinal muscles minimizing muscle damage by posterior interlaminar endoscopic approach. The aim of this study was to evaluate technical problems, complications, and overall initial results of microendoscopic discectomy.
Materials and Methods:
First 100 consecutive cases aged 19-65 years operated by microendoscopic dissectomy between August 2002 – December 2005 are reported. All patients with single nerve root lesions including sequestrated or migrated and selected central disc at L4-5 and L5-S1 were included. The patients with bilateral radiculopathy were excluded. All patients had preoperative MRI and first 11 patients had postoperative MRI to check the adequacy of decompression. Diagnostic selective nerve root blocks were done in selective cases to isolate the single root lesion when MRI was inconclusive (n=7). All patients were operated by a single surgeon with the Metrx system (Medtronics). 97 were operated by 18-mm ports, and only three patients were operated by 16-mm ports. Postoperatively, all patients were mobilized as soon as the pain subsided and discharged within 24–48 h postsurgery. Patients were evaluated for technical problems, complications, and overall results by modified Macnab criteria. Patients were followed up at 2, 6, and 12 weeks.
The mean follow up was 12 months (range 3 months – 4 years). Open conversion was required in one patient with suspected root damage. Peroperatively single facet removal was done in 5 initial cases. Minor dural punctures occurred in seven cases and root damage in one case. The average surgical time was 70 min (range 25-210 min). Average blood loss was 20-30 ml. Technical difficulties encountered in initial 25 cases were insertion of guide pin, image orientation, peroperative dissection and bleeding problems, and reaching wrong levels suggestive of a definitive learning curve. Postoperative MRI (n=11) showed complete decompression. Overall 91% of patients had good-to-excellent results, with four patients having recurrence of whom three were reoperated. Four patients had postoperative discitis. One of the patients required fusion for discitis and rest were managed conservatively. One patient had root damage to L5 root that had paresthesia in L5 region even on 4 years of follow-up.
Microendoscopic discectomy is minimally invasive procedure for discectomy with early encouraging results. Once definite learning curve was over and expertise is acquired, the results of this procedure are acceptable safe and effective.
Lumbar discectomy; microendo system; endoscopic lumbar discectomy
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
Although endoscopic procedures for lumbar disc diseases have improved greatly, the postoperative outcomes for high grade inferior migrated discs are not satisfactory. Because of anatomic limitations, a rigid endoscope cannot reach all lesions effectively. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of endoscopic transforaminal suprapedicular approach to high grade inferior-migrated lumbar disc herniations.
Between May 2006 and March 2008, a suprapedicular approach was performed in 53 patients with high grade inferior-migrated lumbar disc herniations using a rigid endoscope and a semi-rigid flexible curved probe. One-to-four hours after surgery, the presence of remnant discs was checked with MRI. The outcomes were evaluated with the visual analogue scale (VAS) score and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) one week after surgery.
The L2-3 level was involved in 2 patients and the L3-4 level was involved in 14 patients, while the L4-5 level was involved in 39 patients. There were single piece-type in 34 cases and a multiple piece-type in 19 cases. Satisfactory results were obtained in all cases. The mean preoperative VAS for leg pain was 9.32±0.43 points (range, 7-10 points), whereas the mean ODI was 79.82±4.53 points (range, 68-92 points). At the last follow-up examination, the mean postoperative VAS for leg pain was 1.78±0.71 points and the mean postoperative ODI improved to 15.27±3.82 points.
A high grade inferior migrated lumbar disc is difficult to remove sufficiently by posterolateral endoscopic lumbar dscectomy using a rigid endoscope. However, a satisfactory result can be obtained by applying a transforaminal suprapedicular approach with a flexible semi-rigid curved probe.
Migrated disc herniation; Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy; Rigid endoscope; Flexible curved probe
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
The usual surgical treatment of refractory sciatica caused by lumbar disc herniation, is open discectomy. Minimally invasive procedures, including percutaneous therapies under local anesthesia, are increasingly gaining attention. One of these treatments is Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression (PLDD). This treatment can be carried out in an outpatient setting and swift recovery and return to daily routine are suggested. Thus far, no randomized trial into cost-effectiveness of PLDD versus standard surgical procedure has been performed. We present the design of a randomized controlled trial, studying the cost-effectiveness of PLDD versus conventional open discectomy in patients with sciatica from lumbar disc herniation.
The study is a randomized prospective multi-center trial, in which two treatment strategies are compared in a parallel group design. Patients (age 18–70 years) visiting the neurosurgery department of the participating hospitals, are considered for inclusion in the trial when sciatica due to lumbar disc herniation has lasted more than 8 weeks. Patients with disc herniation smaller than 1/3 of the spinal canal diameter, without concomitant lateral recess stenosis or sequestration, are eligible for participation, and are randomized into one of two treatment arms; either Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression or conventional discectomy. The functional outcome of the patient, as assessed by the Roland Disability Questionnaire for Sciatica at 8 weeks and 1 year after treatment, is the primary outcome measure. The secondary outcome parameters are recovery as perceived by the patient, leg and back pain, incidence of re-intervention, complications, quality of life, medical consumption, absence of work and secondary costs.
Open discectomy is still considered to be the golden standard in the surgical treatment of lumbar disc herniation. Whether Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression has at least as much efficacy as the standard surgical procedure, and is more cost-effective, will be determined by this trial.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN25884790.
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
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
The focus of this study was to examine the safety and effectiveness of three different discectomy techniques using a posterior approach for the treatment of herniated lumbar discs. There are only a small number of prospective randomised studies comparing posterior lumbar discectomy techniques, and no recent systematic review has been published on this matter. Using the Cochrane Collaboration guidelines, all randomised or “quasi-randomised” clinical trials, comparing classic, microsurgical, and endoscopic lumbar discectomies using a posterior approach were systematically reviewed. No statistically significant differences were found between these techniques regarding improvement in pain, sensory deficits, motor strength, reflexes, and patient satisfaction. Current data suggest that the microsurgical and endoscopic techniques are superior to the classic technique for the treatment of single level lumbar disc herniations with respect to volume of blood loss, systemic repercussions, and duration of hospital stay. All three surgical techniques were found to be effective for the treatment of single level lumbar disc herniations in patients without degenerative vertebral deformities. No conclusions could be drawn from the clinical randomised studies reviewed regarding the safety of the three techniques studied due to insufficient data on postoperative complications.
Cervical Deuk Laser Disc Repair® is a novel full-endoscopic, anterior cervical, trans-discal, motion preserving, laser assisted, nonfusion, outpatient surgical procedure to safely treat symptomatic cervical disc diseases including herniation, spondylosis, stenosis, and annular tears. Here we describe a new endoscopic approach to cervical disc disease that allows direct visualization of the posterior longitudinal ligament, posterior vertebral endplates, annulus, neuroforamina, and herniated disc fragments. All patients treated with Deuk Laser Disc Repair were also candidates for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).
A total of 142 consecutive adult patients with symptomatic cervical disc disease underwent Deuk Laser Disc Repair during a 4-year period. This novel procedure incorporates a full-endoscopic selective partial decompressive discectomy, foraminoplasty, and posterior annular debridement. Postoperative complications and average volume of herniated disc fragments removed are reported.
All patients were successfully treated with cervical Deuk Laser Disc Repair. There were no postoperative complications. Average volume of herniated disc material removed was 0.09 ml.
Potential benefits of Deuk Laser Disc Repair for symptomatic cervical disc disease include lower cost, smaller incision, nonfusion, preservation of segmental motion, outpatient, faster recovery, less postoperative analgesic use, fewer complications, no hardware failure, no pseudoarthrosis, no postoperative dysphagia, and no increased risk of adjacent segment disease as seen with fusion.
Cervical radiculopathy; Deuk Laser Disc Repair®; endoscopic spine surgery; intervertebral disc degeneration; intervertebral disc displacement; minimally invasive spine 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.
Background and Objectives
Previous studies have concluded that transforaminal epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are more effective than interlaminar injections in the treatment of radiculopathies due to lumbar intervertebral disk herniation. There are no published studies examining the depth of epidural space using a transforaminal approach. We investigated the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and the depth of the epidural space during lumbar transforaminal ESIs.
Eighty-six consecutive patients undergoing lumbar transforaminal ESI at the L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1 levels were studied. Using standard protocol, the foraminal epidural space was attained using fluoroscopic guidance. The measured distance from needle tip to skin was recorded (depth to foraminal epidural space). The differences in the needle depth and BMI were analyzed using regression analysis.
Needle depth was positively associated with BMI (regression coefficient [RC], 1.13; P < 0.001). The median depths (in centimeters) to the epidural space were 6.3, 7.5, 8.4, 10.0, 10.4, and 12.2 for underweight, normal, preobese, obese I, obese II, and obese III classifications, respectively. Sex (RC, 1.3; P = 0.02) and race (RC, 0.8; P = 0.04) were also significantly associated with needle depth; however, neither factor remained significant when BMI was accounted as a covariate in the regression model. Age, intervertebral level treated, and oblique angle had no predictive value on foraminal depth (P > 0.2).
There is a positive association between BMI and transforaminal epidural depth, but not with age, sex, race, oblique angle, or intervertebral level.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a transforaminal suprapedicular approach, semi-rigid flexible curved probe, and 3-dimensional reconstruction computed tomography (3D-CT) with discogram in the endoscopic treatment of non-contained lumbar disc herniations.
The subjects were 153 patients with difficult, non-contained lumbar disc herniations undergoing endoscopic treatment. The types of herniation were as follows : extraforaminal, 17 patients; foraminal, 21 patients; high grade migration, 59 patients; and high canal compromise, 56 patients. To overcome the difficulties in endoscopic treatment, the anatomic structures were analyzed by 3D reconstruction CT and the high grade disc was extracted using a semi-rigid flexible curved probe and a transforaminal suprapedicular approach.
The mean follow-up was 18.3 months. The mean visual analogue scale (VAS) of the patients prior to surgery was 9.48, and the mean postoperative VAS was 1.63. According to Macnab's criteria, 145 patients had excellent and good results, and thus satisfactory results were obtained in 94.77% cases.
In a posterolateral endoscopic lumbar discectomy, the difficult, non-contained disc is considered to be the most important factor impeding the success of surgery. By applying a semi-rigid flexible curved probe and using a transforaminal suprapedicular approach, good surgical results can be obtained, even in high grade, non-contained disc herniations.
Intervertebral disc herniation; Percutaneous discectomy; Posterolateal approach
This prospective-controlled observational study looked at well-matched patients with spinal pain and radicular symptoms, caused by lumbar intervertebral disc herniation to compare the short-term clinical outcome of transforaminal and interlaminar epidural steroid injection (ESI) in a resource challenged tertiary institution in Nigeria.
Materials and Methods:
49 patients with radicular symptoms who were matched for age, symptom duration, magnetic resonance imaging findings, and pre-injection revised Oswentry Disability Index (ODI) score and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) were assigned into ESI technique. The ODI and VAS score were analyzed immediately after an injection and upon follow-up (average 178.5 days), also with the need for repeated injections and surgical interventions over a 1-year follow-up interval.
In the transforaminal group (25 patients), there was a statistically significant improvement in the ODI scores from before the injection (ODI mean 62.4) to immediately after the injection (ODI mean 24.4, P < 0.01), and upon follow-up (ODI mean 20.8, P < 0.01). 9 patients (18.4%) required 1 or 2 repeated injections, 3 (6.1%) patients underwent surgery and 2 (4%) patients lost to follow-up. In the interlaminar group (24 patients), there was a statistically significant improvement in the ODI scores from before the injection (ODI mean 60.7) to immediately after the injection (ODI mean 30.1, P < 0.01), but not upon follow-up (ODI mean 43.2, P = 0.09). 11 (22.4%) patients required 1 or 2 repeated injection, 4 (8%) patients underwent surgery and 3 (6.1%) patients were lost to follow-up. There is an average of 2 fold improvement of transforaminal ESI over interlaminar ESI in a 40 point scale of ODI score on follow-up, which was statistically significant (P < 0.01). The VAS showed similar pattern with the ODI scores in the study.
Transforaminal ESI to treat symptomatic lumbar disc herniation resulted in better short-term pain improvement and fewer long-term surgical interventions compared to interlaminar ESI.
Epidural injections; oswentry disability index; spinal pain
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
Lumbar interlaminar and transforaminal epidural injections are used in the treatment of lumbar radicular pain and other lumbar spinal pain syndromes. Complications from these procedures arise from needle placement and the administration of medication. Potential risks include infection, hematoma, intravascular injection of medication, direct nerve trauma, subdural injection of medication, air embolism, disc entry, urinary retention, radiation exposure, and hypersensitivity reactions. The objective of this article is to review the complications of lumbar interlaminar and transforaminal epidural injections and discuss the potential pitfalls related to these procedures. We performed a comprehensive literature review through a Medline search for relevant case reports, clinical trials, and review articles. Complications from lumbar epidural injections are extremely rare. Most if not all complications can be avoided by careful technique with accurate needle placement, sterile precautions, and a thorough understanding of the relevant anatomy and contrast patterns on fluoroscopic imaging.
Back pain; Spinal injection; Epidural steroid injection; Lumbar interlaminar epidural; Lumbar transforaminal epidural; Complications; Safety; Risk management
Spontaneous intracranial hypotension is often idiopathic. We report on a patient presenting with symptomatic intracranial hypotension and pain radiating to the right leg caused by a transdural lumbar disc herniation. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the brain revealed classic signs of intracranial hypotension, and an additional spinal MR confirmed a lumbar transdural herniated disc as the cause. The patient was treated with a partial hemilaminectomy and discectomy. We were able to find the source of cerebrospinal fluid leak, and packed it with epidural glue and gelfoam. Postoperatively, the patient's headache and log radiating pain resolved and there was no neurological deficit. Thus, in this case, lumbar disc herniation may have been a cause of spontaneous intracranial hypotension.
Spontaneous intracranial hypotension; Orthostatic headache; Lumbar disc herniation
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
Herniated nucleus pulposus fragments are recognized by the immune system as a foreign-body, which results in an autoimmune reaction. Human activation-inducible tumor necrosis factor receptor (AITR) and its ligand, AITRL, are important costimulatory molecules in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Despite the importance of these costimulatory molecules in autoimmune disease, their role in the autoimmune reaction to herniated disc fragments has yet to be explored. The purpose of the present study is to investigate whether the overexpression of AITR and AITRL might be associated with lumbar disc herniation.
Materials and Methods
The study population consisted of 20 symptomatic lumbar disc herniation patients. Ten macroscopically normal control discs were obtained from patients with spinal fractures managed with anterior procedures that involved a discectomy. Peripheral blood samples from both the study patients and controls were collected. The expression levels of AITR and AITRL were investigated by flow cytometric analysis, confocal laser scanning microscopy, immunohistochemistry and by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The soluble AITR and AITRL serum levels were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Flow cytometric analysis revealed significantly higher levels of both AITR and AITRL in the lumbar disc herniation patients than in the controls. The AITRL expression levels were also increased in patients with lumbar disc herniation, shown by using confocal laser scanning microscopy, immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Finally, soluble AITR and AITRL were elevated in the patients with lumbar disc herniations.
The AITR and AITRL are increased in both the herniated disc tissue and the peripheral blood of patients with lumbar disc herniation.
Lumbar disc herniation; costimulatory molecule
Herniated intervertebral disc causes in a great number of cases of lumbar nerve root compression, especially in the segment L5/S1. Other reasons responsible for stress to the lumbar spinal root are the spinal canal stenosis and the postdiscotomy syndrome. For patients without neurological deficiencies, the conservative treatment includes different epidural injection techniques. Steroids are often applied. A specific injection technique needing only a small drug amount is the epidural perineural approach using a special two-needle technique. The anatomical spaces of the nerve roots have received little attention in therapy. We have determined the anterolateral epidural space nerve volume of the nerve root L5/S1, and compared the data collected in an anatomical study with operative measurements during discectomy. The volume determination in the human cadavers was performed with liquid silicone filling the anterolateral space after dissection. The in vivo measurements were performed during surgery at the site of the anterolateral space after discectomy. The anatomical studies showed us a mean value volume of 1.1 ml. The surgical volume determinations result in a mean volume of 0.9 ml. A better understanding of the anterolateral epidural space may allow a reduction of the injection volume in the conservative nerve root compression treatment, especially using the epidural perineural technique, avoiding the risk of side effects of high doses of steroids.
Lumbar nerve root compression; Anatomical volume determination; Epidural–perineural injection technique
Large lumbosacral disc herniations effacing both the paramedian and the foraminal area often cause double radicular compression. Surgical management of these lesions may be difficult. A traditional interlaminar approach usually brings into view only the paramedian portion of the intervertebral disc, unless the lateral bone removal is considerably increased. Conversely, the numerous far-lateral approaches proposed for removing foraminal or extraforaminal disc herniations would decompress the exiting nerve root only. Overall, these approaches share the drawback of controlling the neuroforamen on one side alone. A combined intra-extraforaminal exposure is a useful yet rarely reported approach. Over a 3-year period, 15 patients with bi-radicular symptoms due to large disc herniations of the lumbar spine underwent surgery through a combined intra-extracanal approach. A standard medial exposure with an almost complete hemilaminectomy of the upper vertebra was combined with an extraforaminal exposure, achieved by minimal drilling of the inferior facet joint, the lateral border of the pars interarticularis and the inferior margin of the superior transverse process. The herniated discs were removed using key maneuvers made feasible by working simultaneously on both operative windows. In all cases the disc herniation could be completely removed, thus decompressing both nerve roots. Radicular pain was fully relieved without procedure-related morbidity. The intra-extraforaminal exposure was particularly useful in identifying the extraforaminal nerve root early. Early identification was especially advantageous when periradicular scar tissue hid the nerve root from view, as it did in patients who had undergone previous surgery at the same site or had long-standing radicular symptoms. Controlling the foramen on both sides also reduced the risk of leaving residual disc fragments. A curved probe was used to push the disc material outside the foramen. In conclusion, specific surgical maneuvers made feasible by a simultaneous extraspinal and intraspinal exposure allow quick, safe and complete removal of lumbosacral disc herniations with paramedian and foraminal extension.
Combined approach; Disc herniation; Foraminal; Lumbar
Lumbar discectomy is the surgical procedure most frequently performed for patients suffering from low back pain and sciatica. Disc herniation as a consequence of degenerative or traumatic processes is commonly encountered as the underlying cause for the painful condition. While discectomy provides favourable outcome in a majority of cases, there are conditions where unmet requirements exist in terms of treatment, such as large disc protrusions with minimal disc degeneration; in these cases, the high rate of recurrent disc herniation after discectomy is a prevalent problem. An effective biological annular repair could improve the surgical outcome in patients with contained disc herniations but otherwise minor degenerative changes. An attractive approach is a tissue-engineered implant that will enable/stimulate the repair of the ruptured annulus. The strategy is to develop three-dimensional scaffolds and activate them by seeding cells or by incorporating molecular signals that enable new matrix synthesis at the defect site, while the biomaterial provides immediate closure of the defect and maintains the mechanical properties of the disc. This review is structured into (1) introduction, (2) clinical problems, current treatment options and needs, (3) biomechanical demands, (4) cellular and extracellular components, (5) biomaterials for delivery, scaffolding and support, (6) pre-clinical models for evaluation of newly developed cell- and material-based therapies, and (7) conclusions. This article highlights that an interdisciplinary approach is necessary for successful development of new clinical methods for annulus fibrosus repair. This will benefit from a close collaboration between research groups with expertise in all areas addressed in this review.
Annulus fibrosus rupture; disc herniation; disc biomechanics; biomaterial scaffold; pre-clinical model; interdisciplinary approach; annulus fibrosus tissue engineering; annulus fibrosus regeneration
Neurological deficits following epidural or spinal anesthesia are extremely rare. Transient paraplegia following epidural anesthesia in a patient with thoracic disc herniation has been presented. A 44-year-old woman developed paraplegia during the operation for vascular surgery of her legs under epidural anesthesia. Epidural hematoma or spinal cord ischemia was ruled out by magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic and lumbar spine in which protruded disc at T11-12 level compressing the spinal cord has been verified. Patient responded well to steroid treatment and rehabilitation interventions. Physicians should be aware of preceding disc protrusions, which may have detrimental effects on spinal cord perfusion, as a cause of persistent or transient paraplegia before epidural anesthesia procedure. MRI is a valuable imaging option to rule out epidural anesthesia complications and coexisting pathologies like disc herniations.
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
To compare the efficacy of up to 3 epidural butorphanol plus corticosteroid with corticosteroid alone for sciatica due to herniated nucleus pulposus.
Materials and Methods:
In a randomized, double-blind controlled clinical trial, we administered up to 3 epidural injections of either 80 mg (2 mL) of methylprednisolone acetate and 1 mg (1 mL) of butorphanol diluted with 7 mL of isotonic saline or 80 mg (2 mL) of methylprednisolone acetate diluted with 8 mL of isotonic saline by a lumbar interlaminar approach under fluoroscopic guidance to 120 patients (60 patients in each group) with sciatica due to a herniated nucleus pulposus lasting for 4 weeks to 1 year. All patients had scores higher than 30 mm on visual analog scale (VAS). Information on the use of paracetamol, intensity of pain on a VAS ranging from 0 (no pain) to 100 mm (worst pain possible), Schober's test (cm), Straight Leg Raising test, neurologic examination assessing sensory deficits, motor deficits and reflex changes, and Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire were evaluated at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months after the first injection.
There were no significant differences between the 2 groups with regard to baseline characteristics, withdrawals, and complication rate. Three weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months after the first injection, all the outcome measures in the butorphanol plus corticosteroid group were significantly different from that of the corticosteroid group.
Epidural butorphanol plus corticosteroid injections, as compared with corticosteroid alone injections, offered marked improvement in pain, reflex, motor and sensory deficits, and functional status and reduced the need for analgesics.
Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level I.
Butorphanol; epidural; sciatica