Transforaminal Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Decompression by Using Rigid Bendable Burr for Lumbar Lateral Recess Stenosis: Technique and Clinical Outcome.


Open laminectomy has been regarded as the standard surgical procedure for lumbar lateral recess stenosis during the last decades. Although percutaneous endoscopic lumbar decompression has led to successful results comparable with open decompression, its application in LSS with is still challenging and technically demanding. Here, we report the surgical procedure and preliminary clinical outcomes of transforaminal percutaneous endoscopic lumbar decompression (PELD) by using flexible burr for lumbar lateral recess stenosis.


A retrospective study was performed for the patients with lumbar lateral recess stenosis receiving PELD by using flexible burr. The indications of surgery were moderate to severe stenosis, persistent neurological symptoms, and failure of conservative treatment. The patients with mechanical back pain, more than grade I spondylolisthesis, or radiographic signs of instability were not included. Before the operation, the transforaminal epidural lidocaine injections were carried out to make the diagnosis more precise and accurate. Radiologic findings were investigated, and visual analog scale (VAS) for back and leg pain, Oswestry Disability Index, and modified Macnab criteria were analyzed at the different time of preoperation, postoperation, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.


The follow-up period was 12 months. The mean VAS scores for back and leg pain immediately improved from 7.9 ± 1.2 to 2.8± 1.3, 2.4 ± 1.0, and 2.3 ± 1.0, respectively. The mean visual analog scale scores (VAS) for back pain and leg pain were significantly improved after PELD. The preoperative ODI dropped from 69.1 ± 7.3 to 25.9 ± 8.7, 25.0± 6.9, and 24.7 ± 6.4, respectively. The final outcome was excellent in 39.6%, good in 47.9%, fair in 8.3%, and poor in 4.17%. 87.5% of excellent-to-good ratio was achieved on the basis of Macnab criteria at postoperative 12 months. The complications were limited to transient postoperative dysesthesia (one case), temporary pain aggravation (six cases), and neck pain during the operation (one case).


This observation suggests that the clinical outcomes of PELD for lateral recess stenosis were excellent or showed good results. This minimally invasive technique would be helpful in choosing a surgical method for lateral recess stenosis.

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