Clinical and radiological outcomes of endoscopic partial facetectomy for degenerative lumbar foraminal stenosis

Myung Soo Youn, Jong Ki Shin, Tae Sik Goh, Jung Sub Lee
Acta Neurochirurgica 2017, 159 (6): 1129-1135

BACKGROUND: Several different techniques exist to treat degenerative lumbar foraminal stenosis. Failure to adequately decompress the lumbar foramen may lead to failed back surgery syndrome. However, wide decompression often causes spinal instabilities or may require an additional fusion surgery. The aim of this study was to report the outcomes of endoscopic partial facetectomy (EPF) performed on patients with degenerative lumbar foraminal stenosis.

METHODS: Between 2012 and 2014, 25 consecutive patients (12 women and 13 men) who underwent EPF were included in the study. The patients were assessed before surgery and followed-up regularly during outpatient visits (preoperatively and 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively). The clinical outcomes were evaluated using the visual analog scale (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and Short Form-36 (SF-36) outcome questionnaire. The radiological outcome was measured using the lumbar Cobb angle, disc wedging angle, lumbar lordosis (LL), slip percentage, and disc height index (DHI) in plain standing radiographs.

RESULTS: The VAS, ODI, and SF-36 scores significantly improved at 1 month of follow-up compared with the baseline mean values and were maintained within the 2-year follow-up period. There was no radiologic progression in the lumbar Cobb's angle, disc wedging angle, LL, slip percentage, and DHI between preoperatively and 2 years postoperatively. In addition, the EPF with discectomy group and the EPF group were not significantly different in terms of clinical and radiological outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: EPF is an effective option in decompressing the lumbar exiting nerve root without causing spinal instabilities for the treatment of patients with lumbar foraminal stenosis.

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