Microsurgical Lumbar Discectomy: Preliminary Report of 83 Consecutive Cases

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Abstract

The application of microsurgical technique to lumbar discectomy may be of dual value: minimal disruption of the integrity of normal anatomy and meticulous hemostasis may help to speed the process of convalescence, and the retention of epidural fat around the nerve root may help to prevent adhesions, a common cause of the late, “failed disc” syndrome. The authors report their experience with 83 consecutive microdiscectomies for lumbar disc protrusions. The results must be considered as tentative because the follow-up period has been short and the authors found it difficult to quantify the quality of health during the convalescent phase, although this seemed to be excellent. Their short term results are similar to those of the larger series reported by Williams, whose experience with microsurgical lumbar discectomies began 6 years ago. No other series have been reported. The authors describe their technique and compare it to that of Williams.

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