This study aimed to compare the efficacy of muscle gap approach under a minimally invasive channel surgical technique with the traditional median approach.
In the Orthopedics Department of Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital, Tongzhou District, Beijing, 68 cases of lumbar spinal canal stenosis underwent surgery using the muscle gap approach under a minimally invasive channel technique and a median approach between September 2013 and February 2016. Both approaches adopted lumbar spinal canal decompression, intervertebral disk removal, cage implantation, and pedicle screw fixation. The operation time, bleeding volume, postoperative drainage volume, and preoperative and postoperative visual analog scale (VAS) score and Japanese Orthopedics Association score (JOA) were compared between the 2 groups.
All patients were followed up for more than 1 year. No significant difference between the 2 groups was found with respect to age, gender, surgical segments. No diversity was noted in the operation time, intraoperative bleeding volume, preoperative and 1 month after the operation VAS score, preoperative and 1 month after the operation JOA score, and 6 months after the operation JOA score between 2 groups (P > .05). The amount of postoperative wound drainage (260.90 ± 160 mL vs 447.80 ± 183.60 mL, P < .001) and the VAS score 6 months after the operation (1.71 ± 0.64 vs 2.19 ± 0.87, P = .01) were significantly lower in the muscle gap approach group than in the median approach group (P < .05). In the muscle gap approach under a minimally invasive channel group, the average drainage volume was reduced by 187 mL, and the average VAS score 6 months after the operation was reduced by an average of 0.48.
The muscle gap approach under a minimally invasive channel technique is a feasible method to treat long segmental lumbar spinal canal stenosis. It retains the integrity of the posterior spine complex to the greatest extent, so as to reduce the adjacent spinal segmental degeneration and soft tissue trauma. Satisfactory short-term and long-term clinical results were obtained.