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Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression: Retrospective Analysis of 197 Cases and Review of The Literature

AIM: Percutaneous laser disc decompression (PLDD) is a one of the well-known minimal invasive treatment methods of disc herniations. The aim of this study is to present our clinical experience and to show the benefits of this technique. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 197 patients, who met the criteria of PLDD, underwent treatment between 2007 and 2009. The data of the patients was reviewed retrospectively. Among them, 107 (54.3 %) patients were male and 90 were female with a mean age of 46.34 years (ranged between 23 and 86 years). Seventy-two patients underwent one level PLDD, 112 (56.8 %) patients two levels PLDD and 13 patients three levels PLDD procedures. The mean follow-up time was 42 months. RESULTS: Among the 72 patients, the level of PLDD was L3-L4 in 4 patients, L4-L5 in 39 patients and L5-S1 in 29 patients. L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels were the most common 2-level PLDD locations in 71 patients. Twenty-five (12.7 %) patients underwent microsurgical discectomy after PLDD. The procedure was repeated in 3 patients. Discitis secondary to possible thermal injury occurred in 2 (0.1%) patients and this complication was improved with conservative treatment. CONCLUSION: PLDD is a safe and effective procedure in the treatment of discogenic pain if the patient met the selection criteria. However, this technique is not an alternative to open surgery

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