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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 1998 Nov;27(11):1518-1524. Korean. Original Article.
Bak KH , Oh SH , Choi IS , Kim JM , Kim CH , Kim NK .
Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.

A new technique of endoscope assisted anterior cervical foraminotomy was developed to improve the conventional microsurgical anterior cervical foraminotomy. Microsurgical anterior cervical foraminotomy provides direct anatomical decompression of the compressed nerve root by removing the spondylotic spur or disc fragment while preserving the functioning segment of the disc. The authors modified the anterior cervical foraminotomy using the MED TM(Microendoscopic discectomy) system to minimize the skin incision, and to achieve safe drilling and easy retraction. The uncinate process was drilled under endoscopic visualization through a tubular retractor. This technique has been applied to 13 patients with single level radiculopathy due to posterolateral osteophyte or soft disc herniation. The nerve roots were decompressed successfully under endoscopic control as in conventional microsurgical foraminotomy through a 2cm skin incision. Postoperatively, all patients showed improvements in their radiculopathic symptomatologies. Corresponding CT scans confirmed satisfactory anatomical decompression in all patients. This surgical technique has shown good clinical outcomes with fast recovery.

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