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Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Tubular Diskectomy vs Conventional Microdiskectomy for the Treatment of Lumbar Disk Herniation: 2-Year Results of a Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial

Neurosurgery 69:135–144, 2011 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e318214a98c

Transmuscular tubular diskectomy has been introduced to increase the rate of recovery, although evidence is lacking.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the 2-year results of tubular diskectomy compared with conventional microdiskectomy.

METHODS: Three hundred twenty-eight patients with persistent leg pain caused by lumbar disk herniation were randomly assigned to undergo tubular diskectomy (167 patients) or conventional microdiskectomy (161 patients). Main outcome measures were scores from Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire for Sciatica, Visual Analog Scale for leg pain and low-back pain, and Likert self-rating scale of global perceived recovery.

RESULTS: On the basis of intention-to-treat analysis, there was no significant difference between tubular diskectomy and conventional microdiskectomy in Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire for Sciatica scores during 2 years after surgery (between-group mean difference [∆] = 0.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 20.3-1.6). Patients treated with tubular diskectomy reported more leg pain (∆ = 3.3 mm; 95% CI, 0.2-6.2) and more lowback pain (∆ = 3.0 mm; 95% CI, 20.2-6.3) than those patients treated with conventional microdiskectomy. At 2 years, 71% of patients assigned to tubular diskectomy documented a good recovery vs 77% of patients assigned to conventional microdiskectomy (odds ratio, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.45-1.28; P = .35). Repeated surgery rates within 2 years after tubular diskectomy and conventional microdiskectomy were 15% and 10%, respectively (P = .22).

CONCLUSION: Tubular diskectomy and conventional microdiskectomy resulted in similar functional and clinical outcomes. Patients treated with tubular diskectomy reported more leg pain and low-back pain, although the differences were small and not clinically relevant.

Category: Randomized clinical trial, Spine, Surgical technique

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