Medical College of Wisconsin
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Transforaminal percutaneous endoscopic discectomy in the treatment of far-lateral and foraminal lumbar disc herniations. J Neurosurg 2001 Apr;94(2 Suppl):216-20 PMID: 11302623

Pubmed ID



OBJECT: Far-lateral (extraforaminal) and foraminal disc herniations comprise up to 11% of all herniated intervertebral discs. Operative management can be technically difficult, and the optimum surgical treatment remains controversial. Accessing these lateral disc herniations endoscopically via a percutaneous transforaminal approach offers several theoretical advantages over the more traditional procedures. The object of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of treating patients with far-lateral and foraminal disc herniations via a percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic approach.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed of 47 consecutive patients who underwent surgery via this approach. All procedures were performed after induction of a local anesthetic on an outpatient basis. Outcome was measured with Macnab criteria and by determining a patient's return-to-work status. The median follow-up period was 18 months (range 4-51 months). Excellent or good outcome was obtained in 40 (85%) of 47 patients. Of the 38 patients working before the onset of symptoms, 34 (90%) returned to work. Five patients (11%) experienced poor outcomes and subsequently underwent open procedures at the same level. Of the 10 recipients of Workers' Compensation, Macnab criteria indicated a significantly worse outcome (70% excellent or good), but an excellent return-to-work status was maintained (90%). There were no complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Transforaminal percutaneous endoscopic discectomy is safe and efficacious in the treatment of far-lateral and foraminal disc herniations.

Author List

Lew SM, Mehalic TF, Fagone KL


Sean Lew MD Chief, Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-0034873695   94 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Intervertebral Disc Displacement
Lumbar Vertebrae
Middle Aged
Postoperative Period
Retrospective Studies
Treatment Outcome
jenkins-FCD Prod-332 f92a19b0ec5e8e1eff783fac390ec127e367c2b5