Nowadays, percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD) has become a popular surgical option for the management of LDH, On the basis of the approach to the herniation disc materials, PELD could be classified into percutaneous endoscopic transforaminal discectomy (PETD) and percutaneous endoscopic interlaminar discectomy (PEID). During PETD procedure, especially in in-and-out approach, accurate determination of whether the posterior longitudinal ligament is needed resection seems particularly important.In the study, we tried assessing comparative clinical outcome, surgical duration and complications between the two different surgical methods of LDH treated by PETD via inside-and-out approach.
A total of 135 symptomatic LDH patients who were treated by PETD resecting the posterior longitudinal ligament (68 patients) or remaining the posterior longitudinal ligament (67 patients) during the surgery were included in the study. Visual analog scale (VAS) score, Oswestry disability index (ODI) and modified MacNab criteria were used to evaluate clinical outcomes. Operation time, blood loss, recurrence of LDH and other complication such as dural tear, nerve injury, intervertebral infection, etc. of these two groups were recorded. Clinical evaluation was performed preoperatively, immediately postoperatively, and at each follow-up visit (1 month, 3 months, and final follow-up).
There were 38 males and 30 females in the group A that resecting the posterior longitudinal ligament (mean age = 52.40 ± 8.73 years) and 35 males and 32 females in the group B that remaining the posterior longitudinal ligament (mean age = 53.50 ± 9.24 years). The mean operation time of the group A and the group B respectively, were 82.7 ± 18.5 min and 115.6 ± 24.6 min (P < 0.01). The postoperative VAS scores and ODI were significantly higher than those before surgery in two groups (P < 0.01). The differences in the results were not significant between the two groups (P > 0.05). There was no significant difference in the complication rate, the excellent/good ratio and the recurrence rate between the two groups (P > 0.05).
Whether the posterior longitudinal ligament is resected do not make any difference on curative effect in PETD via inside-and-out approach, and remaining the ligament when it’s intact is preferred because of its shorter operation time.