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1.  Endoscopic discectomy of L5-S1 disc herniation via an interlaminar approach: Prospective controlled study under local and general anesthesia 
Background:
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).
Methods:
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.
Results:
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.
Conclusion:
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.
doi:10.4103/2152-7806.82570
PMCID: PMC3130490  PMID: 21748045
General anesthesia; interlaminar approach; local anesthesia; lumbar disc herniation; percutaneous endoscopic discectomy
2.  Nasopharyngeal gangrenous abscess with skull base extension caused by Escherichia coli after esophageal dilatation for esophageal reconstruction 
Background:
Esophageal dilatation is the most widely used treatment option for the management of esophageal strictures. Complications include bleeding, brain abscess, esophageal perforation and bacteremia. Nasopharyngeal gangrenous abscess after the esophageal dilatation is very rare. Endonasal endoscopic surgery was performed to treat the lesion and a successful result was obtained.
Case Description:
A 59-year-old woman with a previous history of dilatation for esophageal stricture was admitted with a low-grade fever, headache, neck pain and cranial nerve abnormalities including sixth nerve palsy. Imaging studies aroused suspicion of necrotic retropharyngeal tumor with clivus, condylar process and cavernous sinus invasion. Biopsy with a pharyngosope was performed by an ENT doctor. The pathology showed acute necrotic inflammation, tissue granulation and bacteria colonies. Navigation with endonasal endoscopic surgery was chosen to treat the skull base and nasopharyngeal abscess. Bacterial culture showed Escherichia coli. Symptoms improved after the operation and treatment with antibiotics.
Conclusion:
A nasopharyngeal gangrenous abscess with extension to the skull base in the case of esophageal reconstruction after esophageal dilatation is extremely rare. Physicians dealing with esophageal stricture should keep in mind that a nasopharyngeal abscess is a potential complication of esophageal dilatation.
doi:10.4103/2152-7806.69383
PMCID: PMC2958327  PMID: 20975972
Endonasal endoscopic; esophageal dilatation; esophageal stricture; esophageal reconstruction; nasopharyngeal abscess; Escherichia coli
3.  Intradiscal electrothermal therapy in the treatment of chronic low back pain: Experience with 93 patients 
Background:
Low back pain (LBP) has become a main cause of absenteeism and disability in industrialized societies. Chronic LBP is an important health issue in modern countries. Discogenic LBP is one of the causes of chronic low back pain. The management of chronic discogenic LBP has been limited to either conservative treatment or operative treatment. Intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET) is now being performed as an alternative treatment.
Methods:
Ninety-three consecutive patients undergoing IDET at 134 disc levels from October 2004 to January 2007 were prospectively evaluated. All patients had discogenic disease with chronic LBP, as determined by clinical features, physical examination and image studies, and had failed to improve with conservative treatment for at least 6 months. Follow-up period was from 1 week to 3 or more years postoperatively.
Results:
There were 50 male and 43 female patients, with a mean age of 46.07 years (range, 21-65 years). The results were classified as symptom free (100% improvement), better (≥50% improvement), slightly better (<50% improvement), unchanged and aggravated. Eighty-nine patients were followed up in the first week; of them, 77 (86.52%) patients had improvement (4, symptom free; 45, better; and 28, slightly better). The improvement rate gradually decreased to 80.90% in 1 year; and 73.91%, in 3 years.
Conclusions:
In conclusion, IDET offers a safe, minimally invasive therapy option for carefully selected patients with chronic discogenic LBP who have not responded to conservative treatment. Although IDET appears to provide intermediate-term relief of pain, further studies with long-term follow-up are necessary.
doi:10.4103/2152-7806.67107
PMCID: PMC2940097  PMID: 20847918
Chronic low back pain; intradiscal electrothermal therapy; discogenic pain

Results 1-3 (3)