Early Outcomes of Endoscopic Contralateral Foraminal and Lateral Recess Decompression via an Interlaminar Approach in Patients with Unilateral Radiculopathy from Unilateral Foraminal Stenosis

Hyeun Sung Kim, Ravish Patel, Byapak Paudel, Jee-Soo Jang, Il-Tae Jang, Seong-Hoon Oh, Jae Eun Park, Sol Lee
World Neurosurgery 2017, 108: 763-773

OBJECTIVE: Percutaneous endoscopic contralateral interlaminar lumbar foraminotomy (PECILF) for lumbar degenerative spinal stenosis is an established procedure. Better preservation of contralateral facet joint compared with that of the approach side has been shown with uniportal bilateral decompression. The aim of this retrospective case series was to analyze the early clinical and radiologic outcomes of stand-alone contralateral foraminotomy and lateral recess decompression using PECILF.

METHODS: Twenty-six consecutive patients with unilateral lower limb radiculopathy underwent contralateral foraminotomy and lateral recess decompression using PECILF. Their clinical outcomes were evaluated with visual analog scale leg pain score, Oswestry Disability Index, and the MacNab criteria. Completeness of decompression was documented with a postoperative magnetic resonance imaging.

RESULTS: Mean age for the study group was 62.9 ± 9.2 years and the male/female ratio was 4:9. A total of 30 levels were decompressed, with 18 patients (60%) undergoing decompression at L4-L5, 9 at L5-S1 (30%), 2 at L3-L4 (6.7%), and 1 at L2-L3 (3.3%). Mean estimated blood loss was 27 ± 15 mL per level. Mean operative duration was 48 ± 12 minutes/level. Visual analog scale leg score improved from 7.7 ± 1 to 1.8 ± 0.8 (P < 0.0001). Oswestry Disability Index improved from 64.4 ± 5.8 to 21 ± 4.5 (P < 0.0001). Mean follow-up of the study was 13.7 ± 2.7 months. According to the MacNab criteria, 10 patients (38.5%) had good results, 14 patients (53.8%) had excellent results, and 2 patients (7.7%) had fair results. One patient required revision surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: Facet-preserving contralateral foraminotomy and lateral recess decompression with PECILF is effective for treatment of lateral recess and foraminal stenosis. Thorough decompression with acceptable early clinical outcomes and minimal perioperative morbidity can be obtained with the contralateral endoscopic approach.

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