Small incision discectomy for lumbar disc herniation in 98 patients with 5-year follow-up: A retrospective case series study.

Optimal surgical technique to treat lumbar disc herniation (LDH) remains controversial. We described a small incision discectomy technique (SID), and to evaluate its safety and efficacy. A retrospective study involving 98 consecutive patients with LDH managed by SID was conducted. All patients were followed up for 5 years. Outcomes included visual analogue scale (VAS), Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA), operative time, length of incision, blood loss, hospital stay, hospitalization costs, x-ray exposure, reoperation, and complications. The results were determined to be excellent, good, fair, or poor according to the MacNab classification. All patients completed the 5-year follow-up. Relative to preoperative scores, VAS and JOA were both significantly improved. As a whole, 93.8% (92/98) patients showed excellent or good results, 3.1% (3/98) fair, and 3.1% (92/98) poor. The operation time, length of incision, blood loss, and hospital stay were 50 ± 11.1 minutes, 2.2 ± 0.3 cm, 35 ± 3.5 mL, and 4.3 ± 0.2 days, respectively. Additionally, compared with previous literature reports, the hospitalization costs and x-ray exposure were apparently less. The reoperation and recurrence rate were 3.2% and 2.1%. No complications were observed. From these data we conclude that SID appears to be a safe, cost-effective technique for LDH, and has lower x-rays exposure time when compared with literature of percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD).

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