Journal of Spine

ISSN: 2165-7939

Open Access

Complications of Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy: Experiences and Literature Review


Bin Zhu, Yi Jiang, Lanpu Shang, Ming Yan, Hai-Jun Ma, Da-Jiang Ren and Xiao-Guang Liu

Study design: A retrospective clinical review.
Purpose: To explore the type, morbidity, risk factors and treatment strategies of postoperative complication following percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD) surgery.
Overview of literature: PELD became one of the main operation methods for degenerative lumbar diseases, including disc herniation, stenosis and discogenic low back pain. However, complications following PELD surgery are a considerable challenge for spinal surgeons and seldom addressed publicly.
Methods: 10120 patients after PELD surgery were studied. These surgeries were finished by 6 surgeons from 3 main minimal invasive spine centers from January 2012 to June 2017. Most of patients are regularly followed up to explore the type, morbidity, risk factors and treatment strategies of postoperative complication following PELD surgery.
Results: There are 2 patients died in the perioperative period and 2 patients with permanent impairment of neural function after surgery, which should be the severest complication of PELD surgery. Transient paresthesia, intraoperative bleeding and dura sac tear are the most common complications reported by 6 surgeons. There are 2 suspected cases of postoperative hematoma, several cases of surgical instruments broken during the surgery and 20 cases of infection in 10120 patients, regarded as rare complications of PELD. Recurrence rate of PELD surgery is 4.7% to 6% reported by 3 surgeons. However, recurrence defined as complications of PELD surgery remain controversial.
Conclusion: Excellent clinical outcome of large case series after PELD surgery is reported. However, we need to face the limitations and complications of the surgery. The complication rate should be reduced by caring about the treatment, surgical indications strictly selected and the guidance of experienced surgeons.


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