Minim Invasive Neurosurg 2007; 50(4): 219-226
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-985860
Original Article

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

A New Full-Endoscopic Technique for Cervical Posterior Foraminotomy in the Treatment of Lateral Disc Herniations Using 6.9-mm Endoscopes: Prospective 2-Year Results of 87 Patients

S. Ruetten 1 , M. Komp 1 , H. Merk 2 , G. Godolias 3
  • 1Department of Spine Surgery and Pain Therapy, Center for Orthopaedics and Traumatology, St. Anna-Hospital Herne, at the Department of Radiology and Microtherapy, University of Witten/Herdecke, Herne, Germany
  • 2Clinic for Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Surgery, Ernst Moritz Arndt University Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany
  • 3Center for Orthopaedics and Traumatology, St. Anna-Hospital Herne, at the Department of Radiology and Microtherapy, University of Witten/Herdecke, Herne, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
19 October 2007 (online)


Anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) is the standard procedure for operation of cervical disc herniations with radicular arm pain. Mobility-preserving posterior foraminotomy is the most common alternative in the case of a lateral localization of the pathology. Despite good clinical results, problems may arise due to traumatization of the access. Endoscopic techniques are considered standard in many areas, since they may offer advantages in surgical technique and rehabilitation. These days, all disc herniations of the lumbar spine can be operated in a full-endoscopic technique. The objective of this prospective study was to examine the technical possibilities of full-endoscopic posterior foraminotomy in the treatment of cervical lateral disc herniations. 87 patients were followed for 2 years. The results show that 87.4% no longer have arm pain and 9.2% have only occasional pain. The decompression results were equal to those of conventional procedures. The operation-related traumatization was reduced. The recurrence rate was 3.4%. No serious surgical complications occurred. The recorded results show that the full-endoscopic posterior foraminotomy is a sufficient and safe supplement and alternative to conventional procedures when the indication criteria are fulfilled. At the same time, it offers the advantages of a minimally invasive intervention.


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S. RuettenMD, PhD 

Department of Spine Surgery and Pain Therapy

Center for Orthopaedics and Traumatology

St. Anna-Hospital Herne

Hospitalstrasse 19

44649 Herne


Phone: +49/2325/986 20 00

Fax: +49/2325/986 20 49