Both transforaminal percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy with foraminoplasty (TF PELF) and transforaminal percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy without foraminoplasty (TF PELD) were developed for lumbar disc herniation (LDH) patients. However, the safety and effectiveness between the TF PELF and TF PELD have not been investigated.
Of the included 140 LDH patients, 62 patients received TF PELF (PELF group) and 78 patients received TF PELD (PELD group). The operation time, the duration of staying at the hospital, and complication incidences were recorded. All patients were followed up for 2 years, where low back and leg visual analogue scale (VAS) pain ratings and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were compared between the 2 groups before and after surgery. Modified Macnab criterion was estimated for all patients at postoperative 2 years.
There were no significant difference of the operation time, number of days staying at the hospital, and the incidence of complications between the 2 groups (P > 0.05). Two cases in the PELF group and 1 case in the PELD group received a second surgery due to unrelieved symptoms postoperatively. Low back and leg VAS and ODI scores decreased in both groups after operation (P < 0.01), respectively, but were not significant between the 2 groups over time (P > 0.05). Six patients in the PELF group and 3 patients in the PELD group did not continue the follow-up; thus, only 131 patients completed Macnab evaluation. The satisfactory rate was reported as 80.4% in the PELF group and 90.7% in the PELD group (P > 0.05).
This study suggested that the safety and effectiveness of TF PELF are comparable to TF PELD for LDH patients.