Article Abstract

Percutaneous thoracolumbar decompression combined with percutaneous pedicle screw fixation and fusion: a method for treating spinal degenerative pain in a biplane angiography suite with the avoidance of general anesthesia

Authors: Bohdan W. Chopko


Background: Spondylytic degeneration of the axial lumbar spine is a major cause of pain and disability. Recent advances in spinal surgical instrumentation, including percutaneous access and fusion techniques, have made possible the performance of instrumented fusion through small incisions. By blending strategies of interventional pain management, neuroradiology, and conventional spine surgery, it is now feasible to treat spinal axial pain using permanent fixation techniques and local anesthesia in the setting of a fluoroscopy suite using mild sedation and local anesthesia.
Methods: The author presents a series of percutaneous thoracolumbar fusion procedures performed in a biplane neuroangiographic suite and without general anesthesia for the treatment of spondylytic pain. All procedures utilized pedicle screw fixation, harvesting of local bone autograft, and application of bone fusion material.
Results: In this series of 13 patients, a statistically significant reduction of pain was seen at both the 2-week post-operative timepoint, as well as at the time of longest follow-up (mean 40 weeks).
Discussion: The advanced and rapid imaging capabilities afforded by a neuroangiographic suite can be safely combined with percutaneous fusion techniques so as to allow for fusion therapies to be applied to patients where the avoidance of general anesthesia is desirable.