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J Vis Exp. 2018 Aug 7;(138). doi: 10.3791/57999.

A Mobile Outside-in Technique of Transforaminal Lumbar Endoscopy for Lumbar Disc Herniations.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Nanoori Hospital.
Department of Neurosurgery, Nanoori Hospital;
Department of Neurosurgery, Nanoori Suwon Hospital.
Department of Neurosurgery, Nanoori Incheon Hospital.


Percutaneous endoscopic transforaminal lumbar discectomy (PETLD) has now become a standard of care for the management of lumbar disc disease. There are two techniques for the introduction of a working cannula with respect to disc-outside-in and inside-out. The aim of this prospective study is to describe the technical aspects of a novel mobile outside-in method in dealing with different types of disc prolapse. A total of 184 consecutive patients with unilateral lower limb radiculopathy due to lumbar disc prolapse were operated on with the mobile outside-in technique of PETLD. Their clinical outcomes were evaluated based on the type of disc prolapse they had, a visual analog scale (VAS) leg pain score, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and the Macnab criteria. The completeness of the decompression was documented with a postoperative magnetic resonance imaging. The mean age of the patients was 50 ± 16 years and the male/female ratio was 2:1. The mean follow-up was 19 ± 6 months. A total of 190 lumbar levels were operated on (L1-L2: n = 4, L2-L3: n = 17, L3-L4: n = 27, L4-5: n = 123, and L5-S1: n = 19). Divided into types, the patient distribution was central: n = 14, paracentral: n = 74, foraminal: n = 28, far lateral: n = 13, superior-migrated: n = 8, inferior migrated: n = 38, and high canal compromise: n = 9. The mean operative time was 35 ± 12 (25 - 56) min and the mean hospital stay was 1.2 ± 0.5 (1-3) days. The VAS score for leg pain improved from 7.5 ± 1 to 1.7 ± 0.9. The ODI improved from 70 ± 8.3 to 23 ± 5. According to the Macnab criteria, 75 patients (40.8%) had excellent results, 104 patients (56.5%) had good results, and 5 patients (2.7%) had fair results. Recurrence (including early and late) was seen in 15 out of the 190 levels that were operated on (7.89%). This article presents a novel outside-in approach that relies on a precise landing within the foramen in a mobile manner and does not solely depend upon the enlargement of the foramen. It is more versatile in application and useful in the management of all types of disc prolapse, even in severe canal compromise and high migration.

[Available on 2020-08-07]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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