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Laser discectomy: a review

M R Quigley, J C Maroon
Spine 1994 January 1, 19 (1): 53-6
The percutaneous treatment of lumbar disc disease with laser energy has emerged recently as an alternative to open surgical or even mechanical percutaneous methods. Although numerous laser wavelengths have been employed in both the experimental and clinical settings, no consensus exists regarding selection of laser, treatment duration, or energy requirements. Inspection of the disc/water absorption spectrum combined with the limitations of the fiberoptic delivery systems argue for the use of lasers near 2.0 microns, such as the 2.1-microns Ho:YAG. Although recently developed in vitro models have allowed for laser system comparisons, most clinical work has been empiric, uncontrolled, and in very small series.

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