A prospective study.
To evaluate the change in cervical epidural pressure (CEP) during biportal endoscopic lumbar discectomy (BELD).
Summary of Background Data.
In percutaneous uniportal endoscopic lumbar discectomy, irrigation fluid (IF) introduced into the spinal canal during surgery can compress the thecal sac, and act as a potential risk for neurological complications by disturbing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) circulation and increasing intracranial pressure.
Thirty consecutive patients, who underwent BELD, which was performed under automated pump system, an infusion pressure of 30 mmHg were enrolled. The change in CEP on C7–T1 level was measured. CEP was measured in each of the five phases of the procedure (1st phase—making surgical portals; 2nd phase—creating a workspace; 3rd phase—performing neural decompression and discectomy; 4th phase—factitious increase of pressure by clogging the outflow; 5th phase—dismission from fluid irrigation system). Neurological complications and independent risk factors were evaluated.
In the final 27 patients, changes in CEP during surgery were similar. The baseline CEP was 14.8 ± 2.8 mmHg, and the mean CEP in the 3rd phase 18.8 ± 5.1 mmHg was not significantly higher. In the 4th phase, however, the CEPs rose with linear correlation as the pressure increased. In the 5th phase, the elevated CEP returned to baseline in 2.5 ± 5.6 minutes. No patient had neurological complications. No statistically significant risk factors were observed.
In BELD, which is performed to allow continuous lavage with infusion pressure set to 30 mmHg, CEP does not increase beyond the physiological range. Therefore, BELD may be considered as a potentially safe technique.
Level of Evidence: 4