There is a steep learning curve with traditional percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD). The aim of this study is to assess the safety and efficacy of PELD assisted by O-arm-based navigation for treating lumbar disc herniation (LDH).
From September of 2017 to January of 2018, 118 patients with symptomatic LDH were enrolled in the prospective cohort study. The patients undergoing PELD with O-arm-based navigation technique were defined as group A (58 cases), and those undergoing traditional X-ray fluoroscopy method were defined as group B (60 cases). We recorded the operation time, cannula placement time, radiation exposure time, visual analog scale (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and Macnab criteria score of the 2 groups.
The average operation time (95.21 ± 19.05 mins) and the cannula placement time (36.38 ± 14.67 mins) in group A were significantly reduced compared with group B (operation time, 113.83 ± 22.01 mins, P<0.001; cannula placement time, 52.63 ± 17.94 mins, P<0.001). The learning curve of PELD in group A was steeper than that in group B and was lower in the relatively flat region of the end. There were significant differences of the clinical parameters at different time points (VAS of low back, P < 0.001; VAS of leg, P < 0.001; and ODI, P < 0.001). The VAS scores for low back pain and leg pain improved significantly in both groups after surgery and gradually improved as time went by. No serious complication was observed in any patients in either group.
The study indicated that PELD assisted by O-arm navigation is safe, accurate, and efficient for the treatment of lumbar intervertebral disc herniation. It reshaped the learning curve of PELD, reduced the difficulty of surgery, and minimized radiation exposure to surgeons. This study was registered at Chinese Clinical Trail Registry (Registration Number: ChiCTR1800019586).