Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy Safe and Effective

Technique can be used in addition to microsurgery or as an alternative

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Full-endoscopic interlaminar and transforaminal lumbar discectomy produces results similar to those of conventional microsurgery without the same risk of damage due to trauma, according to a study published in the April 20 issue of Spine.

Sebastian Ruetten, M.D., Ph.D., of St. Anna-Hospital Herne in Herne, Germany, and colleagues conducted a study of 178 patients who underwent either full-endoscopic or microsurgical discectomy and were followed up with for two years so that the clinical results of the two types of procedures could be assessed.

Leg pain was eliminated in 82 percent of cases, and only 14 percent of patients reported occasional leg pain. The two types of treatment produced the same clinical results, and both had a 6.2 percent recurrence rate. Full-endoscopic discectomy produced better results in terms of back pain, rehabilitation, complications and traumatization.

"With the surgical devices and the possibility of selecting an interlaminar or posterolateral to lateral transforaminal procedure, lumbar disc herniations outside and inside the spinal canal can be sufficiently removed using the full-endoscopic technique, when taking the appropriate criteria into account," the authors write. "Full-endoscopic surgery is a sufficient and safe supplementation and alternative to microsurgical procedures."

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