Surgical treatment of cervical radiculopathy using an anterior cervical endoscopic decompression

Jorge Felipe Ramírez León, José Gabriel Rugeles Ortíz, Carolina Ramírez Martínez, Gabriel Oswaldo Alonso Cuéllar, Kai-Uwe Lewandrowski


Background: Anterior endoscopic cervical decompression with discectomy and foraminotomy is an alternative to open surgical treatment of unrelenting cervical radiculopathy (CR) in patients who have failed non-operative treatment. The purpose of the study is to present the clinical outcomes of patient with CR treated with an anterior endoscopic approach.
Methods: We reviewed the medical records of 293 patients diagnosed with CR and treated with an anterior endoscopic cervical decompression between 1997 and 2018. Primary outcome measures were modified Macnab as well as pre- and postoperative visual analog scale (VAS) criteria.
Results: The average surgical time was 65 minutes. At 12 months follow-up, Excellent and Good Macnab outcomes were achieved in 90.1% of patients. The average VAS score reduction was 5.6. Complications occurred in 8 patients and were treated with a second procedure in 10 patients.
Conclusions: The anterior endoscopic cervical decompression is an attractive alternative to open anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) with a low complication and reoperations rate.