1. Chief of Pain Medicine and Anesthesiology
2. MicroSpine and Healthmark Regional Medical Center, Florida, USA
3. University of South Florida, Florida, USA
Background: Spinal stenosis of the thoracic spine is less common than that of the cervical and lumbar regions. Due to the close proximity to thoracic and abdominal organs, surgical operations can be difficult and carry a greater risk of complications. The most efficacious intervention for thoracic stenosis, whether central or foraminal, refractory to conservative management is uncertain. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of endoscopic laminoforaminoplasty (ELFP) in the treatment of thoracic radiculopathy.
Methods: Twelve patients with radicular pain involving the lower thoracic levels (at or below T6) were treated with ELFP.
Results: Seven of twelve patients showed marked improvement in pain scores. Average follow-up scores were 2.9 and 12.08 on the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index, respectively. The significance was 0.005 between the pre and post surgical data. One patient with moderate symptoms, two with severe symptoms, and two with crippling symptoms did not report significant improvement on VAS or Oswestry. No complications were encountered.
Conclusions: Endoscopic laminoforaminoplasty offers an alternative to fusion or conventional laminotomy with similar success rates. Patients additionally benefit from a decrease risk of complications, short hospital stay, and faster recovery.
Keywords: thoracic, radiculopathy, laminoforaminoplasty, minimally invasive, endoscopic, spinal stenosis