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Transforaminal Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy and Foraminotomy with Modified Radiofrequency Nerve Stimulator and Continuous Electromyography Under General Anesthesia.

TitleTransforaminal Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy and Foraminotomy with Modified Radiofrequency Nerve Stimulator and Continuous Electromyography Under General Anesthesia.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsHussain I, Rapoport BI, Krause K, Kinney G, Hofstetter CP, Elowitz E
JournalWorld Neurosurg
Volume137
Pagination102-110
Date Published2020 May
ISSN1878-8769
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Transforaminal endoscopic lumbar approaches involve working in Kambin's triangle. These procedures are performed on awake patients or under general anesthesia with continuous electromyography. Potential morbidity of this approach includes injury to exiting and traversing nerve roots, as substantial dissection or cauterization of overlying tissues is required for visualization.

METHODS: We developed a novel connection system that accepts input from a bipolar radiofrequency probe to allow direct nerve stimulation in conjunction with electromyography. This study included 30 consecutive patients undergoing transforaminal endoscopic lumbar approaches for discectomies (73.3%), foraminal stenosis (23.3%), or lateral recess stenosis (3.3%). Demographic, operative, and outcomes data were collected.

RESULTS: Average age of patients was 61.4 years, and the L4-5 segment was most commonly treated (65.6%). Electrophysiologic mapping of the exiting nerve root was attempted in 28 patients with an average stimulation threshold of 8.6 ± 0.9 mA. Mapping of the traversing nerve root was attempted in 12 patients with an average stimulation threshold of 6.0 ± 0.8 mA. There were no instances of new postoperative sensorimotor deficits or dysesthesia. These findings persisted through mean and median follow-up of 294 days and 165 days, respectively. No patient required subsequent lumbar surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: Our modified instrumentation and technique allow for accurate identification of the exiting and traversing nerve roots with minimal changes to the workflow of transforaminal endoscopic lumbar approaches. Modification of a bipolar radiofrequency device connection arrangement is simple, inexpensive, and reusable. In this study, no patients developed injury or pain related to nerve root dysfunction.

DOI10.1016/j.wneu.2020.01.186
Alternate JournalWorld Neurosurg
PubMed ID32036064