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Old 03-18-2011, 01:20 PM
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Default Percutaneous laser disc decompression for thoracic disc disease: report of 10 cases

Int J Med Sci 2010; 7:155-159 ŠIvyspring International Publisher

Research Paper

Percutaneous laser disc decompression for thoracic disc disease: report of 10 cases

Scott M.W. Haufe1,3 , Anthony R. Mork2,3, Morgan Pyne4, Ryan A. Baker4

1. Chief of Pain Medicine and Anesthesiology
2. Chief of Spine Surgery
3. MicroSpine, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435, USA
4. University of South Florida Medical Student

How to cite this article:
Haufe SMW, Mork AR, Pyne M, Baker RA. Percutaneous laser disc decompression for thoracic disc disease: report of 10 cases. Int J Med Sci 2010; 7:155-159. Available from Percutaneous laser disc decompression for thoracic disc disease: report of 10 cases

Background: Discogenic pain or herniation causing neural impingement of the thoracic vertebrae is less common than that in the cervical or lumbar regions. Treatment of thoracic discogenic pain usually involves conservative measures. If this fails, conventional fusion or discectomy can be considered, but these procedures carry significant risk.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy and safety of percutaneous laser disc decompression (PLDD) for the treatment of thoracic disc disease.

Methods: Ten patients with thoracic discogenic pain who were unresponsive to conservative intervention underwent the PLDD procedure. Thoracic pain was assessed using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scores preoperatively and at 6-month intervals with a minimum of 18-months follow-up. Patients were diagnosed and chosen for enrollment based on abnormal MRI findings and positive provocative discograms. Patients with gross herniations were not included.

Results: Length of follow-up ranged from 18 to 31 months (mean: 24.2 mo). Median pretreatment thoracic VAS score was 8.5 (range: 5-10) and median VAS score at final follow-up was 3.8 (range: 0-9). Postoperative improvement was significant with a 99% confidence interval. Of interest, patients generally fell into two groups, those with significant pain reduction and those with little to no improvement. Although complications such as pneumothorax, discitis, or nerve damage were possible, no adverse events occurred during the procedures.

Limitations: The study is limited by its small size and lack of a sham group. Larger controlled studies are warranted.

Conclusions: With further clinical evidence, PLDD could be considered a viable option with a low risk of complication for the treatment of thoracic discogenic pain that does not resolve with conservative treatment.

Keywords: back pain, minimally invasive surgery, laser, intervertebral disc, spine surgery

Conflict of Interest
The authors have declared that no conflict of interest exists.

Author contact
Corresponding author: Scott M.W. Haufe, M.D., 101 MicroSpine Way, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435. Phone: 888-642-7677; Fax: 850-892-4212; Email: Haufe@MicroSpine
1997 MVA
2000 L4-5 Microdiscectomy/laminotomy
2001 L5-S1 Micro-d/lami
2002 L4-S1 Charite' ADR - SUCCESS!
2009 C3-C4, C5-C6-C7, T1-T2 ProDisc-C Nova
Summer 2009, more bad thoracic discs!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
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