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Casal-Moro R.,Complejo Universitario Hospitalario Of Vigo | Castro-Menendez M.,Hospital de Monforte de Lemos | del Campo-Perez V.,Complejo Universitario Hospitalario Of Vigo | Hernandez-Blanco M.,Complejo Universitario Hospitalario Of Vigo | Jorge-Barreiro F.J.,University of Santiago de Compostela
Revista Espanola de Cirugia Ortopedica y Traumatologia

Objective: To evaluate the learning curve of the Microendoscopic Discectomy (MED) for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation. Material and methods: Prospective observational clinical study of 120 patients operated by MED technique. The learning curve was assessed using surgery time, complication rate and conversion rate. The relief of pain, improvement of functional status and patient satisfaction were also assessed. The follow-up time after surgery was 5 years in all cases. Results: The duration of surgical operating time decreased over the course of the study to stabilise around 62-69. min. There were complications in 14 patients (11.7%), the most frequent of which was incidental durotomy (3 cases, all during the learning curve period). There were six (5%) conversions to open discectomy (4 patients in the first 30 cases). After this stage, conversion to open procedure was exceptional and there were no complications related to technique. The MED is a predictable and safe procedure that can treat all types of herniated discs through an 18 mm incision without detaching the muscles, providing similar results to those obtained with conventional techniques, as it is based on the same surgical principles. © 2009 SECOT. Source

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