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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2004 May;35(5):492-497. Korean. Original Article.
Cho JM , Yoon SH , Park HC , Park HS , Kim EY , Ha Y .
Department of Neurosurgery, Inha University Hospital, Inha University, Medical College, Incheon, Korea.
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We report an outcome of surgical treatment of the elderly patients with spinal stenosis, managed by a bilateral narrowed spinal canal widening technique through unilateral approach. METHODS: The operations were performed in 16 patients who diagnosed with spinal stenosis. All individuals had been presented with low-back pain, neurogenic claudication or radiculopathy and unresponsive to conservative treatment over six months. We perfomed hemi-laminectomy at the appropriate levels on the most symptomatic side preserving the facet joint. And the ligamentum flavum, as well as the cortical bone on the ventral surface of the contralateral laminae were removed. The spinous process was left as possible as we can, and the contralateral side of the spinal canal was decompressed completely. RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 71 years. The mean operation time was 73 minutes. Despite of old age, the patients were able to walk in three days after the surgery. The significant pain scale improvement(7.73 to 2.68) and widening of the spinal canal diameter(7.60+/-1.75 to 17.77+/-1.47mm) were noted after the operation. No patient was presented spinal instability on their follow-up period over 24 months. CONCLUSION: The bilateral canal widening technique through the unilateral approach, minimizes the damage to the inter-spinous ligament and the inter-spinous muscle, and saves the operation time because it is not necessary to use the instruments which prevent spinal instability, despite spinal canal was sufficiently enlarged.

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