OBJECTIVEThe aim of this study was to describe patient radiation exposure during single-level transforaminal endoscopic lumbar discectomy procedures at levels L2–5 and L5–S1.METHODSRadiation exposure was monitored in 151 consecutive patients undergoing single-level transforaminal endoscopic lumbar discectomy procedures. Two groups were studied: patients undergoing procedures at the L4–5 level or above and those undergoing an L5–S1 procedure.RESULTSFor the discectomy procedures at L4–5 and above, the average duration of fluoroscopy was 38.4 seconds and the mean calculated patient radiation exposure dose was 1.5 mSv. For the L5–S1 procedures, average fluoroscopy time was 54.6 seconds and the mean calculated radiation exposure dose was 2.1 mSv. The average patient radiation exposure dose among these cases represents a 3.5-fold decrease compared with the senior surgeon's first 100 cases.CONCLUSIONSTransforaminal lumbar endoscopic discectomy can be used as a minimally invasive technique for the treatment of lumbar radiculopathy in the setting of a herniated lumbar disc without the significant concern of exposing the patient to harmful doses of radiation. One caveat is that both the surgeon and the patient are likely to be exposed to higher doses of radiation during a surgeon's early experience in minimally invasive endoscopic spine surgery.
Study Design: International consensus paper on a unified nomenclature for full-endoscopic spine surgery. Objectives: Minimally invasive endoscopic spinal procedures have undergone rapid development during the past decade. Evolution of working-channel endoscopes and surgical instruments as well as innovation in surgical techniques have expanded the types of spinal pathology that can be addressed. However, there is in the literature a heterogeneous nomenclature defining approach corridors and procedures, and this lack of common language has hampered communication between endoscopic spine surgeons, patients, hospitals, and insurance providers. Methods: The current report summarizes the nomenclature reported for working-channel endoscopic procedures that address cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spinal pathology. Results: We propose a uniform system that defines the working-channel endoscope (full-endoscopic), approach corridor (anterior, posterior, interlaminar, transforaminal), spinal segment (cervical, thoracic, lumbar), and procedure performed (eg, discectomy, foraminotomy). We suggest the following nomenclature for the most common full-endoscopic procedures: posterior endoscopic cervical foraminotomy (PECF), transforaminal endoscopic thoracic discectomy (TETD), transforaminal endoscopic lumbar discectomy (TELD), transforaminal lumbar foraminotomy (TELF), interlaminar endoscopic lumbar discectomy (IELD), interlaminar endoscopic lateral recess decompression (IE-LRD), and lumbar endoscopic unilateral laminotomy for bilateral decompression (LE-ULBD). Conclusions: We believe that it is critical to delineate a consensus nomenclature to facilitate uniformity of working-channel endoscopic procedures within academic scholarship. This will hopefully facilitate development, standardization of procedures, teaching, and widespread acceptance of full-endoscopic spinal procedures.
The cause of radiculopathy is the compression of the nerve root which can be secondary to sliding of the vertebra and reduced disc height. In some patients, decompression alone does not resolve this problem. We describe the uniportal endoscopic transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion technique. Full-endocopic foraminotomy and discectomy are followed by cage implementation and percutaneous instrumentation. The goal of this surgical method is decompression of nerve roots, segment stabilization, disc height, and sagittal alignment restoration. Uniportal endoscopic facet sparing transforaminal transkambin lumbar interbody fusion is a good surgical option to treat degenerative disc disease, mechanical instability, and spondylolisthesis. This method shows favourable clinical outcomes in selected patients.
In the last five years, surgeons have applied endoscopic transforaminal surgical techniques mastered in the lumbar spine to the treatment of thoracic pathology. The aim of this systematic review was to collate the available literature to determine the place and efficacy of full endoscopic approaches used in the treatment of thoracic disc prolapse and stenosis. An electronic literature search of PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane database and Google Scholar was performed as suggested by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis statements. Included were any full-text articles referring to full endoscopic thoracic surgical procedures in any language. We identified 17 patient series, one cohort study and 13 case reports with single or of up to three patients. Although the majority included disc pathology, 11 papers related cord compression in a proportion of cases to ossification of the ligamentum flavum or posterior longitudinal ligament. Two studies described the treatment of discitis and one reported the use of endoscopy for tumour resection. Where reported, excellent or good outcomes were achieved for full endoscopic procedures in a mean of 81% of patients (range 46–100%) with a complication rate of 8% (range 0–15%), comparing favourably with rates reported after open discectomy (anterior, posterolateral and thoracoscopic) or by endoscopic tubular assisted approaches. Twenty-one of the 31 author groups reported use of local anaesthesia plus sedation rather than general anaesthesia, providing ‘self-neuromonitoring’ by allowing patients to respond to cord and/or nerve stimuli. Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:50-60. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.200080
Posterior cervical foraminotomy is an effective surgical treatment method for relieving radicular symptoms that result from cervical nerve root compression. Minimally invasive techniques and tubular retractor systems are available to minimize tissue retraction, but minimally invasive approaches can carry with them the surgical challenge of trying to pass instruments through a long narrow retractor that is also the port for visualizing the surgical pathology. Herein, the authors present a case of a 65-year-old man who presented with symptoms of a left C6 and C7 radiculopathy and left C5-6 and left C6-7 foraminal narrowing on MRI. A minimally-invasive fully endoscopic left C5-6 and C6-7 posterior foraminotomy was performed through a 1cm outer diameter working channel endoscopic with a 6 mm working channel. Clinicians should be aware that new minimally invasive non-fusion approaches for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy that utilize endoscopic visualization are now coming into use in clinical practice.
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