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Indexed/Abstracted in: e-psyche, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Neuroscience Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Levi N., Gjerris F., Dons K.
Department of Neurosurgery, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Background. Thoracic disc herniation is uncommon and surgery for thoracic disc herniation represents less than 1-2% of operations for disc disease. However, there is no consensus on the best approach and reports are based on small series.
Methods. A consecutive series of 35 thoracic disc herniations (25 in women and 10 in men) were treated between 1991 and 1996 using the transpedicular approach and followed in a prospective study. All patients had a preoperative MRI examination. The mean age was 51 years. The T6-7 and T7-8 level were the most frequent localization. The interval between onset of symptoms and operation ranged from 6 weeks to 4 years with a mean of 18 months. Presenting symptoms on admission was radiculopathy in 12 patients and myelopathy in 23 patients. Severe urinary symptoms were found in 2 patients, moderate symptoms in 9 patients, mild symptoms in 3 patients and 21 patient had no urinary symptoms.
Results. One patient was paraplegic immediately after surgery and she made no further improvement. A good result was found in 15 patients, a fair result was found in a further 11 patients but in 8 patients the outcome was unchanged with no effect of a reoperation in two cases. No clinical or radiographic features of instability were found. The postoperative course was uneventful, except in one patient with a wound abscess leading to discitis.
Conclusions. The transpedicular approach can be an effective and safe method of surgical decompression in carefully selected patients.