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Unrecognized Durotomy After Lumbar Discectomy: A Report of Four Cases Associated With the Use of ®-L">ADCON®-L

Le, Anh X., MD*; Rogers, David E., MD; Dawson, Edgar G., MD; Kropf, Michael A., MD; De Grange, Donald A., MD; Delamarter, Rick B., MD*

Case Reports

Study Design. This report describes four cases of symptomatic cerebral spinal fluid leak after lumbar microdiscectomy where ®-L">ADCON®-L was used.

Objectives. To report that ®-L">ADCON®-L may exacerbate cerebral spinal fluid leak from unrecognized, small dural tears after lumbar discectomy.

Summary of Background Data. ®-L">ADCON®-L is a porcine-derived polyglycan that is used with increasing frequency in spinal surgery. It is advocated to reduce postoperative peridural fibrosis and adhesions.

Methods. Four cases of symptomatic cerebral spinal fluid leak after lumbar microdiscectomy were identified. Information on these patients was obtained by chart review.

Results. Three patients had small, inadvertent durotomies that were not appreciated at surgery even with the aid of a microscope. The dural violation in the fourth patient occurred at the previous epidural steroid injection site located on the contralateral side of the laminotomy.

Conclusion. ®-L">ADCON®-L may inhibit dural healing and exacerbate cerebral spinal fluid leak from microscopic durotomies not recognized at the time of surgery.

From the *Spine Institute at Saint John’s Health Center, Santa Monica, California, and the †Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California.

Acknowledgment date: September 17, 1999.

First revision date: December 28, 1999.

Acceptance date: January 24, 2000.

Address reprint requests to

Anh X. Le, MD

333 East Alpine Avenue

Stockton, CA 95204


Device status category: 11.

Conflict of interest category: 12.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.