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Minim Invasive Surg. 2013;2013:264105. doi: 10.1155/2013/264105. Epub 2013 Dec 18.

Endoscopic transforaminal thoracic foraminotomy and discectomy for the treatment of thoracic disc herniation.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China.
2
Atlantic Spine Center, 475 Prospect Avenue, Suite 110, West Orange, NJ 07052, USA.

Abstract

Thoracic disc herniation is a relatively rare yet challenging-to-diagnose condition. Currently there is no universally accepted optimal surgical treatment for symptomatic thoracic disc herniation. Previously reported surgical approaches are often associated with high complication rates. Here we describe our minimally invasive technique of removing thoracic disc herniation, and report the primary results of a series of cases. Between January 2009 and March 2012, 13 patients with symptomatic thoracic disc herniation were treated with endoscopic thoracic foraminotomy and discectomy under local anesthesia. A bone shaver was used to undercut the facet and rib head for foraminotomy. Discectomy was achieved by using grasper, radiofrequency, and the Holmium-YAG laser. We analyzed the clinical outcomes of the patients using the visual analogue scale (VAS), MacNab classification, and Oswestry disability index (ODI). At the final follow up (mean: 17 months; range: 6-41 months), patient self-reported satisfactory rate was 76.9%. The mean VAS for mid back pain was improved from 9.1 to 4.2, and the mean ODI was improved from 61.0 to 43.8. One complication of postoperative spinal headache occurred during the surgery and the patient was successfully treated with epidural blood patch. No other complications were observed or reported during and after the surgery.

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