Object. The purpose of this clinical study was to evaluate prospectively surgical and neurological outcomes after endoscopic thoracic disc surgery.
Methods. The authors assessed the following quantifiable outcome data in 46 patients: operative time, blood loss, duration of chest tube insertion, narcotic use, hospital length of stay (LOS), and long-term follow-up neurological function and pain-related symptoms.
In patients who presented with myelopathy there was a postoperative improvement of two Frankel grades. Pain related to radiculopathy was improved by 75% and in one patient it worsened postoperatively. The authors also present operative data, surgical outcomes, and complications.
Conclusions. Thoracoscopic discectomy can be used to achieve acceptable results. It has several distinct advantages such as reduced postoperative pain, morbidity, and LOS compared with traditional open procedures.