Percutaneous endoscopic cervical discectomy for discogenic cervical headache due to soft disc herniation
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A discogenic cervical headache is a subtype of cervicogenic headache (CEH) that arises from a degenerative cervical disc abnormality. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcome of percutaneous endoscopic cervical discectomy (PECD) for patients with chronic cervical headache due to soft cervical disc herniation. Seventeen patients underwent PECD for intractable headache. The inclusion criteria were soft disc herniation without segmental instability, proven by both local anesthesia and provocative discography for headache unresponsive to conservative treatment. The mean follow-up period was 37.6 months. Fifteen of the 17 patients (88.2%) showed successful outcomes based on the Macnab criteria. Pain scores on a visual analog scale (VAS) improved from a preoperative mean of 8.35±0.79 to 2.12±1.17, postoperatively (P<0.01). The mean disc height decreased from 6.81±1.08 to 5.98±1.07 mm (P<0.01). There was no newly developed segmental instability or spontaneous fusion on follow-up radiography. In conclusion, PECD appears to be effective for chronic severe discogenic cervical headache under strict inclusion criteria.
KeywordsCervicogenic headache Discogenic Soft disc herniation Percutaneous discectomy
The authors thank I. Lee and I.S. Cho for the help in preparing the manuscript and figures.
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