Current Issue - May/June 2020 - Vol 23 Issue 3


  1. 2020;23;E259-E264Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy as an Emergent Surgery for Cauda Equina Syndrome Caused by Lumbar Disc Herniation
    Retrospective Study
    Changhong Chen, MD, Pan Fan, PhD, Lei Huang, MS, Huagin Zhen, MS, Lin Liu, MS, and Yuntao Wang, PhD.

BACKGROUND: Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a rare and serious syndrome that requires urgent surgery to improve neurological symptoms. CES can be caused by lumber disc herniation (LDH) and accounts for about 1% to 3% of all cases of disc herniation.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to analyze the characteristics and outcomes of the cases of patients with CES caused by LDH and treated by percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD).

STUDY DESIGN: This study used a retrospective design.

SETTING: Research took place at the Jiangyin Hospital affiliated with Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Jiangsu, China.

METHODS: This was a retrospective study of patients treated for CES due to LDH with PELD as an emergent surgery at a single institutional department between January 2015 and March 2018. The following variables were analyzed: age, gender, the level of disc prolapse, time interval between diagnosis and surgery, lower extremity pain or weakness, perianal sensation, voluntary anal contraction, presence of bladder dysfunction, and the reversal of these deficits in follow-up.

RESULTS: After the emergent surgery with PELD, the lower extremity symptoms were all completely recovered or partly decreased. Only one patient had weakness with plantar flexion of the left foot at the one-year time point. The decreased perianal sensations were partly recovered after surgery, and 9 cases had complete recovery and 2 cases had partial recovery at the one-year follow-up. No patients had anal contraction and bladder problems after the one-year follow-up.

LIMITATIONS: The number of cases reported here is limited, so we will expand the study by including an increased number of patients and a longer follow-up duration.

CONCLUSION: Taken together, these observations show that PELD, used as a minimally invasive choice of emergent surgery, can provide enough decompression of disc prolapse and a satisfactory outcome for patients with CES caused by LDH.

KEY WORDS: Cauda equina syndrome, lumbar disc herniation, outcomes, percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy