Lumbar percutaneous discectomy. Initial experience in 28 cases

Neuroradiology. 1991;33(5):407-10. doi: 10.1007/BF00598613.


Since November 1988, 28 patients with lumbar L5 radiculopathy refractory to conservative care and with a radiologically verified central or mediolateral disc herniation at the level of L4/L5 had had a percutaneous discectomy. Radiological verification consisted of spinal CT +/- myelography, +/- myelo-CT, +/- MRI. A short-term follow-up analysis of at least 2 months taking the clinical and functional status as well as the professional reintegration into account revealed a 64.3% (18/28 patients) satisfactory outcome and a 32.1% (10/28 patients) failure rate. Of the latter 28.6% (8/28 patients) required further open surgery. One patient whose pain had only partially in regressed was shown at open operation to have a sequestered cranial prolapse as revealed by spinal CT after the percutaneous procedure. There were no major complications. One patient developed a sequestered extraforaminal herniation through the nucleotomy canal three weeks after the procedure. One patient bled for 2 minutes. There were no major vessel injuries. One patient reported local muscular pain, and enhanced nerve root pain after introduction of the trocar sleeve.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc / surgery*
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / diagnosis
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / epidemiology
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / surgery*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Myelography
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome