Objective: To study the surgical outcome of outpatient percutaneous microdecompressive endoscopic cervical discectomy with lower energy laser for shrinkage of disc material (thermodiskoplasty).
Method: Since 1994, 200 patients with herniated cervical discs have presented at the authors' clinic, with unilateral radicular pain. The diagnosis was confirmed by MRI or CT, and EMG.
Results: At an average follow-up of 25 months, 94.5% of the cases had good-to-excellent results. Eleven patients (5.5%) remained symptomatic, with persistent neck and upper extremity pain associated with paresthesias. There were no significant postoperative complications. Average time before returning to work was 10 days.
Conclusions: Percutaneous microdecompressive endoscopic cervical discectomy with laser thermodiskoplasty has proven to be a safe and efficacious minimally invasive procedure.