Biportal endoscopic decompressive laminectomy is a widely performed procedure and shows acceptable clinical outcomes. However, the evidence regarding the advantages of biportal endoscopic surgery is weak, a randomized controlled trial is therefore warranted.
To compare the clinical efficacies of biportal endoscopic and microscopic decompressive laminectomy in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis.
Randomized controlled trial.
Sixty-four participants suffering from low back and leg pain with single-level lumbar spinal stenosis who required decompressive laminectomy.
Outcomes were assessed with the use of patient-reported outcome measures, visual analog scale (VAS) score for low back and lower extremity radiating pain, Oswestry disability index (ODI), European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) score, and painDETECT for neuropathic pain. Surgery-related outcomes including operation time, length of hospital stay, postoperative drainage, and serum creatine phosphokinase were evaluated. Perioperative (<30 days) and late (1–12 months) complications were also noted.
All participants were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to undergo biportal endoscopic or microscopic decompressive laminectomy. The primary outcome was the ODI score at 12 months after surgery based on a modified intention-to-treat strategy. The secondary outcomes included VAS score for low back and lower extremity radiating pain, ODI scores, EQ-5D score, and painDETECT score. There were no sources of funding and no conflicts of interest associated with this study.
There was no significant difference between groups in the mean ODI score at 12 months after surgery (30 in the microscopy vs. 29 in the biportal endoscopy group, p=.635). There were also no significant differences in low back and lower extremity pain VAS scores, ODI, EQ-5D scores, and painDETECT scores at the 3-, 6-, or 12-month follow-up. Operation time, length of hospital stay, serum creatine phosphokinase, and perioperative complications, such as durotomies and symptomatic hematoma, showed no significant differences between the groups; however, one participant underwent additional revision surgery 9 months after the index surgery in the microscopy group.
Despite the study design limitation of relatively short duration of follow-up, this trial suggests that biportal endoscopic decompressive laminectomy is an alternative to and offers similar clinical outcomes as microscopic open surgery in patients with symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis.
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Published online: September 19, 2019
Accepted: September 16, 2019
Received in revised form: September 13, 2019
Received: July 10, 2019
FDA device/drug status: Not applicable.
Author disclosures: S-MP: Nothing to disclose. JP: Nothing to disclose. HSJ: Nothing to disclose. YWH: Nothing to disclose. HH: Nothing to disclose. H-JK: Nothing to disclose. B-SC: Nothing to disclose. C-KL: Nothing to disclose. JSY: Nothing to disclose.
© 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.