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, 101 (2), 244-9

Interlaminar Approach for Epiduroscopy in Patients With Failed Back Surgery Syndrome


Interlaminar Approach for Epiduroscopy in Patients With Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

M Avellanal et al. Br J Anaesth.


Background: Epiduroscopy is a relatively new diagnostic and therapeutic technique used in patients with chronic low back pain with or without radiculopathy. We present our experience with a new interlaminar approach in patients with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS).

Methods: Patients with severe symptoms of FBSS who did not respond to other treatments were included. Lumbar epiduroscopy was performed via interlaminar approach through a 14 G epidural needle under fluoroscopy. A flexible, 0.77 mm, endoscope was introduced through a 4F catheter into the epidural space and advanced in a cephalad direction. Flushes of normal saline through the catheter (via a Y-adapter/haemostasis valve) enabled distension of the space. Adhesions were mechanically mobilized under direct vision. A mixture of triamcinolone 60 mg, hyaluronidase 600 IU, and bupivacaine 0.0625% was instilled.

Results: Nineteen patients were included. The mean number of operations at lumbar level was 2.26. Major findings included adhesions, inflammation, stenosis, and nerve root hypotrophia. The visual analogue scale (VAS) score was 7.89 at baseline, 5.95 (P<0.001) 3 months later, and 6.05 (P<0.001) 6 months later. Six patients (31.6%) did not show any improvement, and six other patients showed a very significant improvement (at least three points reduction in the VAS) 3 months later. We had four cases of dural puncture, but only one patient required hospital admission.

Conclusions: We have described a new procedure for epiduroscopy with approximately 50% reduced outer diameter of the catheter, which allows interlaminar approach. Its diagnostic efficacy is clear and there were a significant number of patients who had improved outcome.

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