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Clinical and radiological outcomes of two-level endoscopic posterior cervical foraminotomy

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The efficacy and safety of endoscopic posterior cervical foraminotomy (EPCF) have been demonstrated for single-level cervical radiculopathy, but no report in the medical literature has described the clinical results of two-level EPCF. The aim of this study was to assess the clinical and radiological outcomes of two-level EPCF performed in patients with cervical radiculopathy.


Twenty-two consecutive patients (9 females and 13 males) that underwent two-level EPCF with cervical radiculopathy from January 2012 to January 2014 were included in this study. Clinical outcomes were assessed before surgery and at 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively using visual analogue scale for neck and arm, neck pain and disability scale (NPDS), and neck disability index (NDI) scores. Radiological outcomes were assessed by measuring segmental lordosis (SL), C2–7 lordosis, and disc height index (DHI) before surgery and at 12 and 24 months postoperatively.


Mean VAS, NPDS, and NDI scores were significant improved at 1 month postoperatively versus preoperative values and these improvements were maintained at 2 years after surgery. SL and C2–7 lordosis were significantly increased after surgery, and no instability in dynamic view was observed during the 2-year follow-up period. Percentage DHIs of operated discs were also maintained without significant change at 2 years after surgery. One patient suffered from transient motor palsy due to root retraction.


Two-level EPCF can be safely preformed and should be considered an alternative to two-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion or open posterior cervical foraminotomy in selected patients.

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Correspondence to Jung Sub Lee.

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This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2015R1D1A1A01059035).

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Youn, M.S., Shon, M.H., Seong, Y.J. et al. Clinical and radiological outcomes of two-level endoscopic posterior cervical foraminotomy. Eur Spine J 26, 2450–2458 (2017).

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