A new endoscopic technique to decompress lumbar nerve roots affected by spondylolysis

Technical note

Koichi Sairyo M.D., Ph.D. 1 , Shinsuke Katoh M.D., Ph.D. 1 , Tadanori Sakamaki M.D. 1 , Shinji Komatsubara M.D. 1 and Natsuo Yasui M.D., Ph.D. 1
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  • 1 Department of Orthopedics, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan
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✓ The authors describe a new endoscopic technique to decompress lumbar nerve roots affected by spondylolysis. Short-term clinical outcome was evaluated. Surgery-related indications were: 1) radiculopathy without low-back pain; 2) no spinal instability demonstrated on dynamic radiographs; and 3) age older than 40 years. Seven patients, four men and three women, fulfilled these criteria and underwent endoscopic decompressive surgery. Their mean age was 60.9 years (range 42–70 years). No subluxation was present in four patients, whereas Meyerding Grade I slippage was demonstrated in three. For endoscopic decompression, a skin incision of 16 to 18 mm in length was made, and fenestration was performed to identify the affected nerve root. The proximal stump of the ragged edge of the spondylotic lesion, and the fibrocartilaginous mass compressing the nerve root were removed. The follow-up period ranged from 6 to 22 months (mean 11.7 months). Clinical outcome was evaluated using Gill criteria; in three patients the outcome was excellent, and in four it was good. This new endoscopic technique was useful in the decompression of nerve roots affected by spondylolysis, the technique was minimally invasive, and the clinical results were acceptable.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Shinsuke Katoh, M.D., Department of Orthopedics, School of Medicine, The University of Tokushima, 3–18–15, Kuramoto, Tokushima 770–8503 Japan. email: skatoh@clin.med.tokushima-u.ac.jp.
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