Conggang Liao, Qiang Ren, Lei Chu, Lei Shi, Qingshuai Yu, Zhenjian Yan, Kexiao Yu, Chao Liu, Wenkai Wu, Yang Xiong, Zhongliang Deng, Liang Chen

May 2018, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 1460 - 1468 Ideas and Technical Innovations Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-018-5527-y

First Online: 24 February 2018


During the long-term practice of percutaneous endoscopic cervical discectomy (PECD) at our institution, we have modified the protocol to include the vertical anchoring technique (VAT), which we will describe in detail in this article. The objective of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes associated with the conventional posterior PECD technique with that associated with the modified technique to determine the safety and efficacy of the latter technique.


From December 2014 to January 2016, a total of 44 patients with single cervical disc herniation were randomly divided into two groups. One group underwent conventional posterior PECD, and the other group underwent posterior PECD combined with VAT. The operative time, fluoroscopy times and perioperative complications were recorded. The visual analog scale (VAS) for neck and arm pain and the modified MacNab criteria at 1 day, 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery were used to evaluate the postoperative outcomes.


All patients underwent surgery successfully without severe complications. The operative time and intraoperative fluoroscopy times were significantly less in patients treated with VAT than in those who underwent conventional posterior PECD (P < 0.05). Both types of surgery significantly improved the symptoms of patients. According to the results of the follow-up period, there were no significant differences in VAS scores for neck and arm pain or the modified MacNab criteria between the two groups (P > 0.05). There was no recurrence in either group during the follow-up period.


Although the clinical outcomes of the two surgical techniques were similar, the VAT decreased the operative time and intraoperative fluoroscopy times in posterior PECD surgery. The learning curve for posterior PECD could be shortened by using the VAT.

Graphical abstract

These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

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