Percutaneous Lumbar Disc Decompression Using the Dekompressor: A Prospective Long-Term Outcome Study

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Background Data. Few studies have investigated the long-term efficacy of percutaneous lumbar disc decompression (PLDD) with Dekompressor (Stryker, Kalamazoo, MI) for discogenic radicular pain that has failed conservative management.

Objective. Determine long-term outcomes of Dekompressor PLDD for discogenic radicular pain.

Methods. Prospective cohort study at a tertiary academic spine center of consecutive patients (12/2004–11/2005) with discogenic lumbosacral radicular pain who underwent PLDD with Dekompressor. Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) leg pain score and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score data were collected at 6 months and 1 year. These two measures, 5-point Likert scale patient satisfaction, and surgical rate data were collected at 8 years.

Results. Seventy patients underwent PLDD. Forty and 25 patients were successfully contacted at 1-year and 8-year follow-up, respectively. Using intention to treat analysis, at 1 year and 8 years, NRS leg pain scores were reduced >50% in 47% (95% confidence interval [CI] 35%, 59%) and 29% (95% confidence interval [CI] 18%, 40%) of patients, respectively; ODI score improved >30% in 43% (CI 32%, 55%) and 26% (CI 19%, 41%) of patients, respectively. Of the patients who followed up at 8 years, 36% (CI 17%, 55%) had undergone surgery and the median satisfaction was “4” (interquartile range 2,5).

Conclusions. While limited by loss-to-follow-up, this study suggests that treatment of discogenic lumbosacral radicular pain with Dekompressor results in decreased leg pain and disability and favorable satisfaction at long-term follow-up. Further study with adequate follow-up retention is needed to confirm that Dekompressor spares open spinal surgery.

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