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J Korean Med Sci. 2009 Apr;24(2):302-6. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2009.24.2.302. Epub 2009 Apr 20.

Early outcome of posterior cervical endoscopic discectomy: an alternative treatment choice for physically/socially active patients.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is currently the standard treatment for cervical disc disease. Some patients wish to be treated with a less invasive method, because of their social/physical situations. Here we present one method of treatments for socially/physically active patients. Three patients had triceps weakness and mild posterior neck pain. The offending lesions were at the C6-7 level. All were middle-aged soldiers with families. If conventional ACDF were performed, they would have to retire from the military according to the regulation. They had to be able to perform military drills after the treatment if they were going to be able to keep their jobs. Because of their social/physical situations, all wanted to choose method with that they could treat the disease and keep their jobs. For these reasons, the posterior cervical endoscopic discectomies were performed. Ruptured fragments were successfully removed in all. The arm pain improved by more than 90% in two patients by 7 days and in the other patient by 2 months, respectively (excellent outcome by Macnab's criteria). None of the operations caused instability. All of the patients are currently able to successfully perform their military drills without difficulty. The posterior cervical endoscopic discectomy may be a promising alternative for the physically/socially active patients.


Cervical; Diskectomy; Endoscopes; Posterior

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