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Surg Neurol Int. 2016 Sep 21;7:88. eCollection 2016.

Contralateral interlaminar approach for intraforaminal lumbar degenerative disease with special emphasis on L5-S1 level: A technical note.

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1
Department of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery Unit, IRCCS Galeazzi Hospital, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Intraforaminal disc herniations at the L5-S1 level are extremely surgically challenging lesions. Intracanal approaches frequently require partial or total facetectomy, which may lead to instability. Solely extraforaminal approaches may offer limited visualization of the more medial superiorly exiting and inferiorly exiting nerve roots; this approach is also more complicated at L5-S1 due to the often large L5 transverse process and the iliac wing.

METHODS:

Nine patients with intraforaminal L5-S1 disc herniations, foraminal stenosis, or synovial cysts underwent contralateral interlaminar approaches for lesion resection. Preoperative and postoperative visual analog scale scores were evaluated, and complications were reviewed.

RESULTS:

All 9 patients demonstrated immediate postoperative clinical improvement. None of the patients exhibited complications and none developed instability or neuropathic disorders.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although the number of cases in our sample was very small (9 in total), the contralateral interlaminar approach appeared to effectively address multiple degenerative L5-S1 foraminal pathologies. Large studies are needed to further evaluate the pros and cons of this approach.

KEYWORDS:

Contralateral approach; intraforaminal lumbar disc herniation; mini-invasive spine surgery; spinal stability

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