Does endoscopic spine surgery reduce complications? 5 key notes on findings

Written by Laura Dyrda | January 18, 2017 | Print  |

A study presented at the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Annual Forum in 2016 examined readmissions and complications for patients undergoing endoscopic percutaneous discectomy.

The study included 522 patients who underwent endoscopic lumbar discectomy and 13,187 patients who underwent translaminar lumbar discectomy. The study authors gathered data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program on surgeries performed in 2005 to 2013. The researchers reported:


1. The patients undergoing endoscopic procedures had operations that were 15 minutes longer than the translaminar lumbar discectomy patients.


2. The length of stay and 30-day readmission rates were similar between both groups. The length of stay for the endoscopic group was 1.5 days, compared to 1.61 days for the translaminar lumbar discectomy patients. The readmission rate for the endoscopic group was 3.1 percent, compared to 3.3 percent for the translaminar lumbar discectomy group.


3. Complication rates were similar between the two groups: 3.45 percent in the endoscopic group versus 4.28 percent in the translaminar lumbar discectomy group.


4. The infection rate between the two groups was:


• Endoscopic: 2.11 percent
• Translaminar lumbar discectomy: 2.34 percent


The wound rate and peripheral nerve injury rate was below zero for both groups.


5. The study authors concluded the "transpedicular endoscopic approach did not significantly decrease incidence of complication for lumbar discectomy patients." The findings disagree with other previous studies.


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