2022 Volume 62 Issue 6 Pages 270-277
This study compared the outcomes of microendoscopy-assisted lumbar interbody fusion (ME-LIF) and uniportal full-endoscopic laminectomy (FEL) for L5 radiculopathy caused by lumbar foraminal stenosis (LFS). ME-LIF was performed using an 18- to 20-mm tubular retractor and endoscope, and FEL via the translaminar approach (TLA) was performed at the dorsal part of the foramen using a 4.1-mm working channel endoscope. Patients with LFS treated using ME-LIF (n = 39) or FEL-TLA (n = 30) were retrospectively evaluated. Patients' background and operative data were collected. The 36-item Short Form Survey (SF-36), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and European Quality of Life-5 Dimension (EQ-5D) scores were recorded preoperatively and 2 years postoperatively. The background data of the two groups (ME-LIF and FEL-TLA) were similar. The mean operation times for ME-LIF and FEL-TLA were 110.7 and 65.2 min, respectively, and the mean length of hospital stay were 10.3 and 1.5 days, respectively. Reoperation was required for surgical site infection, and percutaneous pedicle screw malposition in three patients was treated using ME-LIF. During follow-up, second FEL-TLA and LIF were performed for recurrent L5 radiculopathy in one and three patients in the FEL-TLA group, respectively. Although the SF-36, ODI, and EQ-5D scores 2 years postoperatively improved in both groups, improvement in ODI scores was lower following FEL-TLA than following ME-LIF. FEL-TLA can be performed to treat patients with L5 radiculopathy caused by LFS. Although the ODI score improvement following FEL-TLA was unremarkable, FEL-TLA might be considered because of its better safety profile and minimal invasiveness than ME-LIF.