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Chonnam Med J. 2004 Sep;40(3):136-141. Korean. Original Article.
Shin SR , Kim SH , Lee JK , Kim IY .
Department of Neurosurgery, Chonnam National University Medical School, Korea.
Chonnam National University Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Gwangju, Korea.

In this study the authors removed only the herniated portion of disc through a microtunnel of 6-8 mm diameter made in the intervertebral disc without concurrent interbody fusion and internal fixation to reduce the surgical complication of cervical disc herniation. In 54 patients operated for cervical radiculopathy, 21 patients with cervical soft disc were treated by anterior tunnel approach from January 1999 to September 2002. Patients with hard cervical disc or other causes of cervical stenosis were excluded except one patient who had one level of soft disc and two levels of hard disc at the same time. There was no significant complication after operation except a case of transient hoarseness. The results of postoperative follow-up (mean, 11.4 months) results according to Odom's criteria were excellent in 8 cases, good in 12 cases, fair in 1 case. Removal of herniated cervical discs through a microtunnel made in the intervertebral disc is recommended for the surgical treatment of soft cervical disc herniation because it is simple and safe, and there is no need of interbody fusion or postoperative immobilization.

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