Current Issue - November/December - Vol 22 Issue 6


  1. 2019;22;E601-E608Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy for Lumbar Disc Herniation with Modic Changes via a Transforaminal Approach: A Retrospective Study
    Retrospective Study
    Jietao Xu, MA, Yawei Li, MD, Bing Wang, MD, Guo-Hua Lv, MD, Pengfei Wu, MD, Yuliang Dai, MD, Bin Jiang, MD, Zhenzhong Zheng, MA, and Shipeng Xiao, MA.

BACKGROUND: The surgical selection for patients with lumbar disc herniation (LDH) with Modic changes (MCs) is still contentious. Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy via a transforaminal approach (TF-PELD) as a representative minimally invasive spine surgery technique for LDH has been standardized. However, its efficacy has not been thoroughly described in the patients with LDH with MCs.

OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to assess the clinical outcomes of TF-PELD in the treatment of LDH and MCs.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective study.

SETTING: Inpatient surgery center.

METHODS: From January 2015 to December 2016, 276 patients with LDH showing normal or MCs signals in their bone marrow in our hospital were enrolled in this retrospective study. All patients suffered low back and leg pain because of LDH and underwent the TF-PELD procedure. Clinical outcomes were assessed according to the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for back pain and leg pain, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) for functional status assessment, and modified MacNab criteria for patient satisfaction.

RESULTS: A total of 182 patients showed normal intensity, 44 patients showed Modic type 1 signals, and 50 patients showed Modic type 2 signals before surgery. The postoperative VAS and ODI scores were significantly improved compared with those preoperatively among the groups. In the Modic type 1 and 2 signals groups, however, the postoperative VAS scores for back pain and ODI scores showed an upward trend with the follow-up time extending. The recurrence rates were 4.4%, 9.1%, and 8.0% in the normal, Modic type 1 and 2 signals groups, respectively. The recurrence rates and satisfaction rates showed no significant difference among the groups at the final follow-up.

LIMITATIONS: This study has a small sample size and the follow-up period was too short. There is no comparison with other therapeutic options such as fusion surgery or the lack of any other treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: TF-PELD is an option for treatment of patients with LDH even if the patients show MCs. However, the postoperative back pain and functional status have the trend of deterioration with the time extending in patients with MCs, especially in the Modic type 1 signals.

KEY WORDS: Modic changes, Modic type 1, Modic type 2, transforaminal percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy, lumbar disc herniation, back pain, recurrence, complication