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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2001 May;30(5):600-604. Korean. Original Article.
Jang WY , Kim KS , Lee JC , Kim CJ , Choi HY , Xuan XN , Han DH .
Department of Neurosurgery, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Chonju, Korea.
Fu-Zhi Hospital Yan Bian University, Yanji, Republic of China.
Department of Neurosurgery, Yan Bian University, Medical School, Yanji, Republic of China.

OBJECTIVE: The authors report the microsurgical anterolateral tunnel approach for the treatment of the cervical disc diseases and its postoperative surgical results. METHODS: All surgical procedures followed the method of classical microsurgical anterior discectomy. Small tunnel(7-8mm) was made on the disc space reaching to the posterior longitudinal ligament. The disc materials and bony spurs were removed through this tunnel. Thirty-one patients of cervical disc herniation(24 cases with pure disc herniation, 7 cases with combined cervical spondylosis) were evaluated on the symptoms, conformation in plain X-ray, C-T, and MRI. The follow up time was over 2 years . RESULTS: Postoperatively the result(following the out come scale) was excellent and good in Twenty-nine patients. One with fair result showed remnant disc particle and spur and another one is combined with cord contusion. One patient with lesion in C 3-4 space and two cervicothoracic junction showed excellent result. Two patients with osteoporosis also showed good results. Cervical spine curvature and disc space height were not changed on the plain X-ray and MRI in all patients. Twenty-nine patients were discharged within 3 days after surgery without any postoperative complications. CONCLUSIONS: The microsurgical anterolateral tunnel approach could be indicated for the treatment of patients with cervical disc diseases and with difficulty in achieving interbody fusion(the higher cervical level and cervicothoracic junction, osteoporosis etc.).

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