Current Issue - November/December 2023 - Vol 26 Issue 7


  1. 2023;23;E805-E813Implantation of Surgical Paddle Electrodes Using Percutaneous Biportal-Endoscopic Technique for Spinal Cord Stimulation: An Anatomical Feasibility Study in Human Cadavers
    Feasibility Study
    Chen Li, MD, Ye Jiang, MD, Tengfei Liu, MD, Lutao Yuan, MD, Cong Luo, MD, and Yong Yu, MD, PhD.

BACKGROUND: Spinal cord stimulation is a technique in which different types of electrodes are placed in the spinal epidural space for neuromodulation. Surgical paddle electrodes (SEs) are usually implanted by a surgeon by performing open surgery with laminectomy. Recent advances in endoscopic spine surgery provide another option for minimally invasive SE implantation.

OBJECTIVES: This anatomical study aims to examine the feasibility of implanting SEs in thoracic and cervical spine segments, discussing the specific advantages and disadvantages compared with previously reported methods.

STUDY DESIGN: Laboratory study with Institutional Review Board No B2023-056.

METHODS: Four fresh adult cadavers (2 women, 2 men) were operated on in this study. The posterior unilateral biportal endoscopic surgical approach, the accessibility to the intraspinal epidural space, and the technical possibilities and limitations of implantation of SEs were evaluated, as well as the surgical duration and complications.

RESULTS: All the planned steps of the operation were successfully accomplished in all 4 cadavers. A total of 8 electrodes were successfully implanted through the working portal. Among them, 4 were located in the cervical segment and 4 in the thoracic segment. The proper position of the electrodes was also verified by fluoroscopy. No rupture of dura occurred during the operation. Except for the first cadaver, the duration of surgery did not exceed 1 hour.

LIMITATIONS: Anatomical study on human cadavers, the quantity of cadavers, and the steep learning curve.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this anatomical study show that the SEs can be satisfactorily implanted in cervical and thoracic segments using the unilateral biportal endoscopic technique.

KEY WORDS: Surgical paddle electrodes, spinal cord stimulation, unilateral biportal endoscopic technique, anatomical feasibility, anatomical study, cadavers, cervical, thoracic