Endoscopic spine discectomy: indications and outcomes

  • Yong AhnEmail author
Review Article



Percutaneous endoscopic discectomy is an effective minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) for soft disc herniations. The objective of this review was to describe the current indications, surgical techniques, and clinical outcomes of endoscopic spine surgery.


A narrative review was performed with a focus on surgical indication of percutaneous endoscopic discectomy and the clinical outcomes in lumbar and cervical spine. Percutaneous endoscopic or full-endoscopic discectomy using a working channel endoscope was described.


The basic principles, surgical techniques, and clinical outcomes in lumbar and cervical disc herniations were demonstrated. For the lumbar disc herniation (LDH), transforaminal and interlaminar approaches were reviewed, whereas for the cervical disc herniation (CDH), anterior and posterior approaches were reviewed.


Endoscopic spine surgery for soft disc herniation can be effective with benefits of minimal tissue trauma in properly selected cases. Given the recent technical advancements, the surgical indications for endoscopic spine surgery are still expanding and the clinical results have become more practical and reliable.


Discectomy Endoscopic Indication Interlaminar Transforaminal 



The author would like to thank Jin Ah Kim, Jae Min Son, and Ho Kim for their support and assistance with this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Financial disclosure

The author has no relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript. This includes employment, consultancies, honoraria, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, grants or patents received or pending, or royalties.


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© SICOT aisbl 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurosurgery, Gil Medical CenterGachon University College of MedicineIncheonRepublic of Korea

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