Anterior percutaneous cervical discectomy. Two years of follow up with a blunt technique

Jorge Felipe Ramírez León


Objective: To report the outcomes attained with a blunt anterior approach of percutaneous non-endoscopic cervical discectomy for the treatment of degenerative disc disease. Methods: A medical chart review was conducted for patients diagnosed with axial cervical pain from degenerative disc disease and treated with an anterior percutaneous non-endoscopic discectomy and nucleoplasty with a high frequency Surgimax radiofrequency energy source. Data was evaluated under modified MacNab and pre and postoperative VAS criteria at 3, 12 and 24 months. Results: A total of 62 procedures were performed in 48 patients between 2008 and 2014. The average population age was 52.4 years. The MacNab obtained was 84.6%, 92.3% and 89.2% improvement (excellent and good results) at 3, 12 and 24 months respectively. VAS changed from 7.4 to 2.3 points two years after the procedure, showing a statistically significant difference (p=0.000). No major complication related with the approach or reintervention occurred. Conclusions: The anterior non-endoscopic discectomy and nucleoplasty for treatment of discogenic axial cervical pain could be an effective alternative to open surgery. Our blunt technique proved to be a safe procedure, with no approach-related complications, and provided outcomes comparable to those reported using the original technique with needle, with a two years follow up.