Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
World Neurosurg. 2014 Feb;81(2):422-7. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2012.12.008. Epub 2012 Dec 12.

Clinical outcomes of microendoscopic foraminotomy and decompression in the cervical spine.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
  • 2Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
  • 3Department of Neurological Surgery, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Electronic address: rfessler@nmff.org.



Few reports have addressed long-term outcomes, as well as the safety and efficacy of the cervical microendoscopic foraminotomy (CMEF) and cervical microendoscopic diskectomy (CMED) procedures used in modern spine practice to treat degenerative disease of the cervical spine. Accordingly, we present long-term outcomes from a cohort of patients treated for foraminal stenosis or disk herniation with the CMEF or CMED procedure, respectively.


A total of 38 patients were included in the study, with a mean follow-up of 24.47 ± 12.84 months. Patients were monitored prospectively with questionnaires consisting of a visual analog scale for the neck (VASN) and arm (VASA), and a neck disability index (NDI) form. Operative time, estimated blood loss, and hospitalization stay also were collected. Data were analyzed with Microsoft Office Excel 2007.


The mean 1 year follow-up scores all showed statistically significant improvements: NDI (P = 0.0019), VASN (P = 0.0017), VASA (P ≤ 0.0001). Similar results were seen at 2-year follow-up: NDI (P = 0.0011), VASN (P = 0.0022), and VASA (P ≤ 0.0001); and at 3- to 6-year follow-up: NDI (P = 0.0015), VASN (P = 0.0200), and VASA (P = 0.0034). The average operation time, hospitalization stay, and estimated blood loss were 154.27 ± 26.79 minutes, 21.22 ± 14.23 hours, and 27.92 mL, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences when patients were compared by age (over 50 vs. under 50), operative level (above C6 vs. below C6), or sex. One complication was reported in this study consisting of duratomy, which required no further intervention.


Posterior CMEF and CMED are safe and effective procedures for minimally invasive decompression in the cervical spine.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Foraminotomy; Microendoscopic; Microendoscopic decompression; Microendoscopic diskectomy; Minimally invasive surgery; Spine surgery

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk