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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2013 Oct;54(4):366-9. doi: 10.3340/jkns.2013.54.4.366. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Surgical Tips to Preserve the Facet Joint during Microdiscectomy.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Korea.


Lumbar microdiscectomy (MD) is the gold standard for treatment of lumbar disc herniation. Generally, the surgeon attempts to protect the facet joint in hopes of avoiding postoperative pain/instability and secondary degenerative arthropathy. We believe that preserving the facet joint is especially important in young patients, owing to their life expectancy and activity. However, preserving the facet joint is not easy during lumbar MD. We propose several technical tips (superolateral extension of conventional laminotomy, oblique drilling for laminotomy, and additional foraminotomy) for facet joint preservation during lumbar MD.


Facet joint; Foraminotomy; Laminotomy; Lumbar disc herniation; Microdiscectomy

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