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Eur Spine J. 2011 Oct;20(10):1684-90. doi: 10.1007/s00586-011-1821-7. Epub 2011 Apr 29.

Surgical treatment of thoracic disc herniations via tailored posterior approaches.

Author information

1
Neurosurgical Department, Diakonissenhospital, Knuthstrasse 1, 24939 Flensburg, Germany. boermwo@diako.de

Abstract

We present clinical findings, radiological characteristics and surgical modalities of various posterior approaches to thoracic disc herniations and report the clinical results in 27 consecutive patients. Within an 8-year period 27 consecutive patients (17 female, 10 male) aged 30-83 years (mean 53 years.) were surgically treated for 28 symptomatic herniated thoracic discs in our department. Six of these lesions (21%) were calcified. In all cases surgery was performed via individually tailored posterior approaches. We evaluated the pre- and postoperative clinical status and the complication rate in a retrospective study. Nearly one half of the lesions (46.4%) were located at the three lowest thoracic segments. Clinical symptoms included back pain or radicular pain (77.8%), altered sensitivity (77.8%), weakness (40.7%), impaired gait (51.9%) or bladder dysfunction (22%). Costotransversectomy was performed in 8 patients, 1 lateral extracavitary approach, 2 foraminotomies, 15 transfacet and/or transpedicular approaches and 2 interlaminar approaches were used for removing the pathologies. After a mean follow-up of 38.6 months (3-100 months), complete normalization or reduction of local pain was recorded in 87% of the patients and of radicular pain in 70% of the cases, increased motor strength could be achieved in 55%, sensitivity improved in 76.2% and improvement of myelopathy was noted in 71.4%. Two patients suffered from postoperative impairment of sensory deficits, which in one case was discrete. The overall recovery rate within the modified JOA score was 39.5%. In 1 patient, two revisions were required because of instability and a persisting osteophyte, respectively. The rate of major complications was 7.1% (2/28). Surgical treatment of thoracic disc herniations via posterior approaches tailored to the individual patient produces satisfying results referring to clinical outcome. Posterior approaches remain a viable alternative for a large proportion of patients with symptomatic thoracic disc herniations.

PMID:
21533597
PMCID:
PMC3175880
DOI:
10.1007/s00586-011-1821-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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