Send to

Choose Destination
Pain Med. 2017 Oct 1;18(10):1975-1986. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnw355.

Effectiveness of Percutaneous Lumbar Extraforaminotomy in Patients with Lumbar Foraminal Spinal Stenosis: A Prospective, Single-Armed, Observational Pilot Study.

Author information

Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, School of Medicines, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Integrated Cancer Management Center, Seoul National University Cancer Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



In lumbar foraminal spinal stenosis (LFSS), numerous ligaments may play an important role in causing radiculopathy by narrowing the exit of the nerve root. In order to achieve effective decompression of lumbar foraminal ligaments, a specially designed instrument for percutaneous lumbar extraforaminotomy (PLEF) was invented. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of PLEF in patients with intractable radiculopathy from LFSS.


A prospective, single-armed, observational pilot study.


A pain center in a tertiary university-based hospital.


The PLEF was performed in patients who suffered from radiculopathy with concordant imaging evidence of a mild to severe degree of LFSS. For each patient, an 11-point numerical rating scale (NRS) pain score, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ) score, and any adverse events were evaluated at three-month follow-ups. Successful responder percentage defined as 40% or greater reduction from baseline NRS score with no increase in ODI, and the RMDQ score was assessed at three months.


Among 26 patients who underwent PLEF, 20 patients completed the study protocol. PLEF was successful in 12 patients (60%). The overall mean pain reduction at three months was 36.3%. Patients who responded well also showed improvement in the ODI (-20%) and RMDQ score (-8.4) at their three-month follow-up. No serious complications were reported in the study.


The PLEF can be an effective and safe treatment option, as well as a minimally invasive procedure, for the management of patients suffering from refractory radiculopathy caused by LFSS.


Extraforaminotomy; Foraminal Stenosis; Lumbar Spinal Stenosis; Spinal Ligament

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center