Purpose: Surgical management of far lateral disc herniations remains challenging. Current transforaminal full-endoscopic approaches require non-visualized docking in the Kambin’s triangle and have been associated with significant risk of inadvertent nerve injury. We develop a full-endoscopic approach based on reliable bony landmarks allowing for visualization of the exiting nerve root prior to the far lateral discectomy. Methods: The surgical details of a full-endoscopic trans-pars interarticularis approach for far lateral discectomy are described. These descriptions include high quality intraoperative images and important surgical pearls. A small patient cohort is presented to demonstrate feasibility and safety of the procedure. Results: We demonstrate the feasibility of this approach in 14 patients with a mean age of 59.5 ± 14.7 years. At a mean follow up of 21.9 ± 6.8 months, improvement of the visual analogue scale (VAS) for leg pain was 4.3 ± 1.0 resulting in minimally clinically important difference in 78.6% of the patients. The mean improvement in VAS for the back pain was 2.6 ± 0.8 and for Oswestry disability index (ODI) was 20.6 ± 5.3. Nuances of the trans-pars surgical techniques are presented in a patient with a right-sided L4-5 far lateral disc herniation. Preoperative imaging studies, steps of the surgical progression, and intraoperative views are described in detail. Conclusion: Using the pars interarticularis as the bony target area allows for safe visualized access to the extraforaminal compartment of the exiting nerve root. This novel surgical technique has the potential benefit of decreasing inadvertent neural injury and subsequent postoperative dysesthesias.
- Far lateral lumbar discectomy
- Full endoscopic
- Surgical technique
- Trans-pars interarticularis approach