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Ulrich Hubbe, Pamela Franco-Jimenez, Jan-Helge Klingler, Ioannis Vasilikos, Christoph Scholz and Evangelos Kogias


The aim of the study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of minimally invasive tubular microdiscectomy for the treatment of recurrent lumbar disc herniation (LDH). As opposed to endoscopic techniques, namely microendoscopic and endoscopic transforaminal discectomy, this microscopically assisted technique has never been used for the treatment of recurrent LDH.


Thirty consecutive patients who underwent minimally invasive tubular microdiscectomy for recurrent LDH were included in the study. The preoperative and postoperative visual analog scale (VAS) scores for pain, the clinical outcome according to modified Macnab criteria, and complications were analyzed retrospectively. The minimum follow-up was 1.5 years. Student t-test with paired samples was used for the statistical comparison of pre- and postoperative VAS scores. A p value < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.


The mean operating time was 90 ± 35 minutes. The VAS score for leg pain was significantly reduced from 5.9 ± 2.1 preoperatively to 1.7 ± 1.3 postoperatively (p < 0.001). The overall success rate (excellent or good outcome according to Macnab criteria) was 90%. Incidental durotomy occurred in 5 patients (16.7%) without neurological consequences, CSF fistula, or negative influence to the clinical outcome. Instability occurred in 2 patients (6.7%).


The clinical outcome of minimally invasive tubular microdiscectomy is comparable to the reported success rates of other minimally invasive techniques. The dural tear rate is not associated to higher morbidity or worse outcome. The technique is an equally effective and safe treatment option for recurrent LDH.

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Marie T. Krüger, Christine Steiert, Sven Gläsker and Jan-Helge Klingler


Hemangioblastomas are benign, highly vascularized tumors that can occur sporadically or as part of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease. Traditionally, spinal hemangioblastomas have been surgically treated via an open approach. In recent years, however, minimally invasive techniques using tubular retractors have been increasingly applied in spine surgery. Such procedures involve less tissue trauma but are also particularly demanding for the surgeon, especially in cases of highly vascular tumors such as hemangioblastomas. The object of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of minimally invasive resection of selected spinal hemangioblastomas.


The authors conducted a retrospective single-center study of all patients who, between January 2010 and January 2018, had been operated on for spinal hemangioblastoma via a minimally invasive approach performed at the surgeon’s discretion. The surgical technique is described and the pre- and postoperative neurological and imaging results were analyzed descriptively. The primary outcome was the postoperative compared to preoperative neurological condition (McCormick grade). The secondary outcomes were the extent of tumor resection and postoperative complications.


Eighteen patients, 12 female and 6 male, harboring a total of 19 spinal hemangioblastomas underwent surgery in the study period. Seventeen patients had stable neurological findings with stable or improved McCormick grades (94.5%) at a mean of 4.3 months after surgery. One (5.5%) of the 18 patients developed progressive neurological symptoms with a worsened McCormick grade that did not improve in the long-term follow-up. Sixteen of the 18 patients had VHL disease, whereas 2 patients had sporadic spinal hemangioblastomas. In all patients, postoperative MRI showed complete resection of the tumors. No other surgery-related perioperative or postoperative complications were recorded.


A minimally invasive approach for the resection of selected spinal hemangioblastomas is safe and allows complete tumor resection with good clinical results in experienced hands.

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Evangelos Kogias, Ronen Sircar, Jan-Helge Klingler, Martin Hermann Deininger and Ulrich Hubbe

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Jan-Helge Klingler, Marie Therese Krüger, Evangelos Kogias, Stefanie M. Brendecke, Ulrich Hubbe and Christian Scheiwe

Malignant meningiomas are a rare but aggressive subset of intracranial meningiomas leading to a very limited life expectancy. The occurrence of spinal metastases in these tumors is an even rarer event. The described patient had an intracranial malignant meningioma and developed a symptomatic osteolytic contrast-enhancing lesion in the left C-1 lateral mass suspicious for metastasis. The authors performed a minimally invasive posterior resection of the lesion with vertebroplasty of C-1. Histopathology verified metastasis of the malignant meningioma. The surgical procedure resulted in prompt and permanent pain reduction until the patient died 18 months later. Given the very limited life expectancy in this case, the authors did not consider occipitocervical fusion because of their desire to preserve the range of motion of the head. Therefore, they suggest minimally invasive tumor resection and vertebroplasty in selected palliative tumor patients.