Factors predicting excellent outcome of percutaneous cervical discectomy: analysis of 111 consecutive cases
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Percutaneous cervical discectomy (PCD) has been developed as an effective treatment option for soft cervical disc herniation. However, no prognostic study of this procedure has yet been made. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the surgical outcome of PCD and to determine the factors predicting excellent outcome. A retrospective review was performed of 111 consecutive patients who underwent PCD with a mean follow-up period of 49.4 months (range, 29–64 months). Under local anesthesia, a percutaneous anterior approach was followed by discectomy with microforceps and endoscopic Ho:YAG laser. The surgical outcomes of the 111 patients based on the Macnab criteria were excellent in 52 patients (46.9%), good in 37 (33.3%), fair in 9 (8.1%), and poor in 13 (11.7%), thereby indicating a symptomatic improvement in 88.3% of the patients. In this study, the two major factors predicting an excellent long-term outcome were the symptom of radiating arm pain (P=0.02) and the location of lateral disc herniation (P<0.02). Proper patient selection remains critical for the success of this minimally invasive procedure.
KeywordsPercutaneous discectomy Cervical spine Predicting factors Endoscopic laser
The authors sincerely thank J.H. Hwang, I. Lee, I.S. Cho and H.R. Lee for the help in preparing the manuscript and figures.
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