Short-term results of minimally invasive lumbar canal decompression indicate that the procedure benefits patients who are having difficulty recovering from postoperative pain, according to a study published in the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.
The procedure, which was used to treat 50 patients with a mean age of 70 years who failed conservative therapy for lumbar canal stenosis, led to clinical improvements as early as 3 months. Those improvements lasted up to the final 2-year follow-up, according to the abstract.
“Minimally invasive lumbar canal decompression through a unilateral paramedian approach offers patients an effective surgical treatment for their condition with beneficial effects lasting at least to 2 years,” the authors wrote in the study.
However, a learning curve in the procedure was the reason for a higher complication rate for patients earlier in the study, the authors noted. They also concluded that long-term benefits, such as reduced back pain or postoperative spondylolisthesis, had yet to be seen.
The lumbar canal decompression technique was performed through a unilateral, paramedian oblique, muscle-splitting approach to the canal with bilateral decompression which has potential to help reduce postoperative spondylolisthesis, the authors wrote.
- Mannion RJ, Guilfoyle MR, Efendy J, et al. Minimally invasive lumbar decompression: Long-term outcome, morbidity and the learning curve from the first 50 cases. J Spinal Disord Techniques. 2012;25:1:47-51. doi:10.1097/BSD.0b013e31820baa1e.
- Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.