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

Results After Lumbar Decompression With and Without Discectomy: Comparison of the Transspinous and Conventional Approaches

Neurosurgery 66[ONS Suppl 1]:ons152-ons160, 2010 DOI: : 10.1227/01.NEU.0000365826.15986.40

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of the transspinous approach compared with the conventional approach in single-level lumbar laminotomies with and without discectomies.
METHODS: Forty consecutive patients underwent single-level lumbar decompression with or without a discectomy. The first 20 patients underwent surgery by the conventional approach (11 with discectomy and 9 without), and the transspinous approach was used in the remaining 20 patients (11 with discectomy and 9 without). Results between the groups were assessed by comparing the following measures: length of inpatient hospital stay, postoperative pain and analgesia use, estimated blood loss, rate of postoperative disability and complications, and incision length.
RESULTS: The groups did not differ significantly with respect to age, level of pathology, insurance status, or type of analgesia used. The primary outcome was physical disability, measured using the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire. The secondary outcome was pain intensity, measured using the Brief Pain Inventory. Patients who underwent the transspinous approach had better outcomes across all measures with significance appreciated in those who underwent transspinous decompression with discectomies. Other statistically significant differences were identified in incision length and postoperative analgesia use at the end of 1 week. No statistically significant differences were identified in the rates of complications, estimated blood loss, inpatient narcotic analgesia use, or length of inpatient hospital stay.
CONCLUSION: Patients who underwent single-level lumbar decompression with or without discectomy had similar outcomes as those who underwent the conventional approach. Although of modest clinical significance, the transspinous approach may afford early mobilization and reduced postoperative pain while providing a satisfactory neurological and functional outcome.

Category: Outcome, Spine, Surgical technique

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