Endoscopic spine surgery is becoming more popular, and techniques, platforms, and applications are expanding at a rapid pace. Despite widespread interest in these approaches, long-term patient-reported clinical results are scarce. Major cohort studies have yet to be published with significant follow-up in the United States, in particular. For a study, researchers sought to examine the clinical outcomes of individuals with lumbar disc herniations treated with microendoscopic decompression (MED).

The records of patients with symptomatic lumbar disc herniations who received MED within a single practice from May 2018 to February 2021 were evaluated. The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System characteristics were used to analyze paired outcome scores. Basic perioperative data were tabulated, including duration of stay, anticipated blood loss, mean opioid use, complication rate, and revision rate. Sample pair To compare regularly distributed and nonparametric data, student t-tests and paired Wilcoxon sign tests were utilized.

About 35 patients were included, with complete matched patient-reported outcome measures data and a minimum 6-month follow-up; 65.7% of the patients were male, with a mean age of 47.1 years (SE 1.8). The average length of follow-up was 590.6 days (SE 47.7). On the day of their surgery, 34 of the 35 patients (97.1%) were discharged. Each surgery resulted in a <25 mL blood loss. After extubation and discharge, the average opioid dose was 10.4 morphine milligram equivalents. There were considerable improvements in pain measurements and global health components during the 2-week follow-up. At the final follow-up, practically all parameters improved significantly, exceeding minimally clinically meaningful difference values. Preoperative levels that were outside of the “normal” range on postoperative testing were within normal ranges for the majority of parameters.

At an average follow-up of about 2 years, MED resulted in sustained significant improvement in patient-reported outcome measures that surpassed minimum clinically relevant difference values. The findings supported the usefulness of the procedure and further investment in endoscopic spine technology.