Volume 52 (2012) Issue 9 Pages 625-630
We report our early clinical experience with percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD) for herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP) in the lumbar spine. We introduced PELD to our clinical practice in June 2009. A total of 311 patients with degenerative lumbar spine disease were treated in our hospital up to August 2011. Thirty-seven patients with lumbar HNP were treated by PELD. PELD was carried out under local anesthesia, and the endoscope was continuously irrigated with saline. Twenty-eight patients were treated through the transforaminal approach, 5 were treated through the interlaminar approach, and 4 were treated through the extraforaminal approach. Surgery was discontinued due to uncontrollable intraoperative pain or anatomical inaccessibility in one case of the interlaminar approach and 2 cases of the extraforaminal approach. In the other 34 patients, the elapsed time of surgery was 34 to 103 minutes (mean 62.4 minutes). Extracorporeal blood loss was insignificant. Immediate symptom relief was achieved in all patients, and postoperative magnetic resonance imaging revealed sufficient removal of the HNP. The length of the postoperative hospital stay was 1 or 2 days in all patients. The surgical method of PELD is completely different from percutaneous nucleotomy, and the aim is to directly remove the HNP with minimum damage to the musculoskeletal structure. Although this study is based on our early clinical outcomes, PELD seemed to be a promising minimally invasive surgery for HNP in the lumbar spine.