Article Abstract

Advantages and disadvantages of posterolateral approach for percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy

Authors: Junichi Yokosuka, Yasushi Oshima, Takeshi Kaneko, Yuichi Takano, Hirohiko Inanami, Hisashi Koga

Abstract

Background: Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD) is one of the less invasive treatments for lumbar disc herniation (LDH), and has 3 different operative approaches. This study focused on the posterolateral approach (PLA) and investigated the appropriate operative indication.
Methods: PLA was performed in 29 patients with foraminal and extraforaminal LDH. The height and width of the foramen, LDH type, and positional relationship between LDH and the foramen were radiologically evaluated. Foraminoplasty was also performed in 12 cases including those combined with intra-canal LDH or osseous foraminal stenosis. Pre- and postoperative status was evaluated using Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) scores.
Results: Patient mean age was 56.8 years; there was single-level involvement at L3/4 (13 cases) and at L4/5 (13 cases). The mean pre- and postoperative NRS scores were 6.1 and 1.8, respectively. Early recurrence developed in a patient who was found to have local scoliosis at the corresponding vertebral level.
Conclusions: PLA can be safely used to treat foraminal and extraforaminal LDH with foraminal height ≥13 mm and foraminal width ≥7 mm. The procedure is effective for preserving the facet joint; however, we should carefully consider the indications when local scoliosis and/or instability are present.