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Dong Hwa Heo and Choon Keun Park

OBJECTIVE

The aims of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) are to improve surgical outcomes, shorten hospital stays, and reduce complications. The objective of this study was to introduce ERAS with biportal endoscopic transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and to investigate the clinical results.

METHODS

Patients were divided into two groups based on the fusion procedures. Patients who received microscopic TLIF without ERAS were classified as the non-ERAS group, whereas those who received percutaneous biportal endoscopic TLIF with ERAS were classified as the ERAS group. The mean Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and visual analog scale (VAS) scores were compared between the two groups. In addition, demographic characteristics, diagnosis, mean operative time, estimated blood loss (EBL), fusion rate, readmissions, and complications were investigated and compared.

RESULTS

Forty-six patients were grouped into the non-ERAS group (microscopic TLIF without ERAS) and 23 patients into the ERAS group (biportal endoscopic TLIF with ERAS). The VAS score for preoperative back pain on days 1 and 2 was significantly higher in the non-ERAS group than in the ERAS group (p < 0.05). The mean operative duration was significantly higher in the ERAS group than in the non-ERAS group, while the mean EBL was significantly lower in the ERAS group than in the non-ERAS group (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in fusion rate between the two groups (p > 0.05). Readmission was required in 2 patients who were from the non-ERAS group. Postoperative complications occurred in 6 cases in the non-ERAS group and in 2 cases in the ERAS group.

CONCLUSIONS

Percutaneous biportal endoscopic TLIF with an ERAS pathway may have good aspects in reducing bleeding and postoperative pain. Endoscopic fusion surgery along with the ERAS concept may help to accelerate recovery after surgery.

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Dong Hwa Heo, Dong Chan Lee, and Choon Keun Park

OBJECTIVE

Recently, minimally invasive unilateral laminotomy with bilateral decompression (ULBD) has been performed for lumbar stenosis using endoscopic approaches. The object of this retrospective study was to compare the clinical and radiological outcomes of three types of minimally invasive decompressive surgery: microsurgery, percutaneous uniportal endoscopic surgery, and percutaneous biportal endoscopic surgery.

METHODS

In the period from March 2016 to December 2017, minimally invasive ULBD was performed using microscopy, a uniportal endoscopic approach, or a biportal endoscopic approach to treat lumbar canal stenosis. Patients were classified into three groups based on the surgery they had undergone. The angle of medial facetectomy area and postoperative dural expansion were measured using MR images. The visual analog scale (VAS) score for leg and back pain, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), operation time, and complications were assessed. Clinical and radiological parameters were compared among the three groups.

RESULTS

There were 33 patients in the microscopy group, 37 in the biportal endoscopy group, and 27 in the uniportal endoscopy group. Preoperatively stenotic dural areas were significantly expanded in each of the three groups after surgery (p < 0.05). Mean dural expansion in the uniportal endoscopy group was significantly lower than that in the microscopy or biportal endoscopy group (p < 0.05). The mean angle of the facetectomy in the biportal endoscopic group was significantly lower than that in the microscopic group or uniportal endoscopic group (p < 0.05). On the 1st day after surgery, the VAS score for back pain was significantly higher in the microscopic group than in the uniportal or biportal endoscopic group (p < 0.05). However, there were no significant differences in the VAS score for back pain, VAS score for leg pain, or ODI at the final follow-up among the three groups (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Although radiological results were different among the three groups of patients, postoperative clinical outcomes were significantly improved after each type of surgery. The percutaneous biportal or uniportal endoscopic approach offers the advantage of reduced immediate postoperative pain. A percutaneous uniportal or biportal endoscopic lumbar approach may be effective for the treatment of lumbar central stenosis and an alternative to conventional microsurgical decompression.

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Chang Kyu Park, Choon Keun Park, Dong Chan Lee, and Dong Geun Lee

OBJECT

In elderly patients with severe osteoporosis, instrumented lumbar interbody fusion may result in fixation failure or nonunion because of decreased pedicle screw pullout strength or increased interbody graft subsidence risk. Thus, given its many advantages, percutaneous pedicle screw fixation with cement augmentation can be an effective method to use in elderly patients. The authors report on an easy, safe, and economical technique for bone cement augmentation using a bone biopsy needle inserted into the disc space in 2 osteoporotic patients who were treated with posterior interbody fusion and percutaneous pedicle screw fixation.

METHODS

Two elderly patients who complained of back pain and intermittent neurological claudication underwent posterior interbody fusion with percutaneous pedicle screw fixation. After routinely assembling rods on the screws, a bone biopsy needle was inserted into the disc space via the operative field; the needle was then placed around the tips of the screws using fluoroscopic radiography for guidance. Bone cement was injected through the bone biopsy needle, also under fluoroscopic radiography guidance.

RESULTS

Both patients’ symptoms improved after the operation, and there was no evidence of cage subsidence or screw loosening at the 4-month follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

The indirect technique of bone cement augmentation via the disc space for percutaneous screw fixation could be an easy, safe, and economical method.

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Dong Hwa Heo, Dong Chan Lee, Jong Yang Oh, and Choon Keun Park

OBJECTIVE

Bony overgrowth and spontaneous fusion are complications of cervical arthroplasty. In contrast, bone loss or bone remodeling of vertebral bodies at the operation segment after cervical arthroplasty has also been observed. The purpose of this study is to investigate a potential complication—bone loss of the anterior portion of the vertebral bodies at the surgically treated segment after cervical total disc replacement (TDR)—and discuss the clinical significance.

METHODS

All enrolled patients underwent follow-up for more than 24 months after cervical arthroplasty using the Baguera C disc. Clinical evaluations included recording demographic data and measuring the visual analog scale and Neck Disability Index scores. Radiographic evaluations included measurements of the functional spinal unit's range of motion and changes such as bone loss and bone remodeling. The grading of the bone loss of the operative segment was classified as follows: Grade 1, disappearance of the anterior osteophyte or small minor bone loss; Grade 2, bone loss of the anterior portion of the vertebral bodies at the operation segment without exposure of the artificial disc; or Grade 3, significant bone loss with exposure of the anterior portion of the artificial disc.

RESULTS

Forty-eight patients were enrolled in this study. Among them, bone loss developed in 29 patients (Grade 1 in 15 patients, Grade 2 in 6 patients, and Grade 3 in 8 patients). Grade 3 bone loss was significantly associated with postoperative neck pain (p < 0.05). Bone loss was related to the motion preservation effect of the operative segment after cervical arthroplasty in contrast to heterotopic ossification.

CONCLUSIONS

Bone loss may be a potential complication of cervical TDR and affect early postoperative neck pain. However, it did not affect mid- to long-term clinical outcomes or prosthetic failure at the last follow-up. Also, this phenomenon may result in the motion preservation effect in the operative segment after cervical TDR.

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Jin Hwa Eum, Dong Hwa Heo, Sang Kyu Son, and Choon Keun Park

OBJECTIVE

The use of conventional uniportal spinal endoscopic decompression surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis can be limited by technical difficulties and a restricted field of vision. The purpose of this study is to describe the technique for percutaneous biportal endoscopic decompression (PBED) for lumbar spinal stenosis and analysis of clinical postoperative results.

METHODS

The authors performed a unilateral laminotomy with bilateral foraminal decompression using a unilateral biportal endoscopic system in patients with single-level lumbar stenosis. The authors enrolled only patients who underwent follow-up for longer than 12 months after PBED. Fifty-eight patients were enrolled in this study. This approach was based on 2 portals: one portal was used for continuous irrigation and endoscopic viewing and the other portal was used to manipulate the instruments used in the decompression procedures. Clinical parameters such as the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Macnab criteria, and postoperative complications were analyzed.

RESULTS

Neural decompression was effectively performed in all enrolled patients. The mean ODI was significantly lower after PBED. Of 58 patients, 47 (81.0%) had a good or excellent result according to the Macnab criteria. Postoperative ODI and visual analog scale scores were significantly improved compared with preoperative values.

CONCLUSIONS

From a surgical point of view, percutaneous biportal endoscopy is very similar to microscopic spinal surgery, permitting good visualization of the contralateral sublaminar and medial foraminal areas. The authors suggest that the PBED, which is a minimally invasive procedure, is an alternative treatment option for degenerative lumbar stenosis.

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Dong Hwa Heo, Sang Kyu Son, Jin Hwa Eum, and Choon Keun Park

OBJECTIVE

Minimally invasive spine surgery can minimize damage to normal anatomical structures. Recently, fully endoscopic spine surgeries have been attempted for lumbar fusion surgery. In this study, the authors performed a percutaneous unilateral biportal endoscopic (UBE) technique as a minimally invasive surgery for lumbar fusion. The purpose of this study is to present the UBE technique of fully endoscopic lumbar interbody fusion (LIF) and to analyze the clinical results.

METHODS

Patients who were to undergo single-level fusion surgery from L3–4 to L5–S1 were enrolled. Two channels (endoscopic portal and working portal) were used for endoscopic lumbar fusion surgery. All patients underwent follow-up for more than 12 months. Demographic characteristics, diagnosis, operative time, and estimated blood loss were evaluated. MRI was performed on postoperative Day 2. Clinical evaluations (visual analog scale [VAS] for the leg and Oswestry Disability Index [ODI] scores) were performed preoperatively and during the follow-up period.

RESULTS

A total of 69 patients (24 men and 45 women) were enrolled in this study. The mean follow-up period was 13.5 months. Postoperative MRI revealed optimal direct neural decompression after fully endoscopic fusion surgery. VAS and ODI scores significantly improved after the surgery. There was no postoperative neurological deterioration.

CONCLUSIONS

Fully endoscopic LIF using the UBE technique may represent an alternative minimally invasive LIF surgery for the treatment of degenerative lumbar disease. Long-term follow-up and larger clinical studies are needed to validate the clinical and radiological results of this surgery.

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Jung Hyun Shim, Wan Soo Kim, Joo Hyung Kim, Dong Hyun Kim, Jang Hoe Hwang, and Choon Keun Park

Object

The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical and radiological outcomes of treating L5–S1 isthmic spondylolisthesis and foraminal stenosis in elderly patients with instrumented posterolateral fusion (PLF) versus percutaneous pedicle screw fixation (PSF) combined with anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF).

Methods

Forty-nine patients older than 65 years of age with L5–S1 isthmic spondylolisthesis and symptomatic foraminal stenosis who underwent ALIF were retrospectively analyzed. An ALIF with instrumented PLF (Group A) was performed in 23 patients, and ALIF with percutaneous PSF (Group B) was performed in 26 patients. Data were collected preoperatively and at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and every subsequent year. A comparative analysis was made between the 2 groups using clinical (visual analog pain scale [VAS] and modified MacNab criteria) and radiological (dynamic plain radiographs and CT scans) measures.

Results

The mean follow-up duration was 30.3 months (range 24–47 months). The mean preoperative scores on the VAS for low-back pain in Groups A and B were 5.9 and 5.7, respectively, decreasing to 1.4 and 3.6, respectively, at 6 months after surgery (p = 0.001), whereas VAS scores for low-back pain in Groups A and B at 2 years postoperatively were 1.3 and 2.3, respectively (p = 0.005). The mean preoperative scores on the VAS for leg pain in Groups A and B were 7.5 and 7.8, respectively, decreasing at 6 months after surgery to 1.2 and 1.6, respectively (p = 0.201), whereas VAS scores for leg pain in Groups A and B at 2 years postoperatively were 1.3 and 1.4, respectively (p = 0.803). The rates of patients with excellent or good outcomes in terms of the modified MacNab criteria in Groups A and B were 91.3% and 69.2%, respectively, at 6 months after surgery (p = 0.010). Those rates in Groups A and B at 2 years after the operation were 91.3% and 84.6%, respectively (p = 0.203). The fusion rates in Groups A and B were 91.3% and 57.7%, respectively, at 6 months after surgery (p = 0.008), whereas the fusion rates in Groups A and B were 91.3% and 76.9%, respectively, at 2 years after surgery (p = 0.103). There was no significant difference in terms of the complication rate between Group A (4.3%) and B (3.8%) (p = 0.691).

Conclusions

A relatively longer time until, and lower rate for, fusion in the patients treated with ALIF and percutaneous PSF were noted, which may be correlated with a relatively lower rate of patients with excellent or good outcomes. These results seem to favor ALIF with instrumented PLF rather than ALIF with percutaneous PSF in the treatment of elderly patients with L5–S1 isthmic spondylolisthesis and foraminal stenosis. However, additional long-term follow-up, a larger number of patients, and well-designed studies are necessary for a more rigorous evaluation of the outcome of patients treated using these surgical techniques.

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Dong Hyun Lee, Dong-Geun Lee, Jin Sub Hwang, Jae-Won Jang, Dae Hyeon Maeng, and Choon Keun Park

OBJECTIVE

Whereas the benefits of indirect decompression after lateral lumbar interbody fusion are well known, the effects of anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) have not yet been verified. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiological effects of indirect decompression after ALIF for central spinal canal stenosis. In this report, along with the many advantages of the anterior approach, the authors share cases with good outcomes that they have encountered.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 64 consecutive patients who underwent ALIF for central spinal canal stenosis with instability and mixed foraminal stenosis between January 2015 and December 2018 at their hospital. Clinical assessments were performed using the visual analog scale score, the Oswestry Disability Index, and the modified Macnab criteria. The radiographic parameters were determined from pre- and postoperative cross-sectional MRI scans of the spinal canal and were compared to evaluate neural decompression after ALIF. The average follow-up period was 23.3 ± 1.3 months.

RESULTS

All clinical parameters, including the visual analog scale score, Oswestry Disability Index, and modified Macnab criteria, improved significantly. The mean operative duration was 254.8 ± 60.8 minutes, and the intraoperative bleeding volume was 179.8 ± 119.3 ml. In the radiological evaluation, radiological parameters of the cross-sections of the spinal canal showed substantial development. The spinal canal size improved by an average of 43.3% (p < 0.001) after surgery. No major complications occurred; however, aspiration guided by ultrasonography was performed in 2 patients because of a pseudocyst and fluid collection.

CONCLUSIONS

ALIF can serve as a suitable alternative to extensive posterior approaches. The authors suggest that ALIF can be used for decompression in central spinal canal stenosis as well as restoration of the foraminal dimensions, thus allowing decompression of the nerve roots.