Comparison of Symptomatic Cerebral Spinal Fluid Leak Between Patients Undergoing Minimally Invasive versus Open Lumbar Foraminotomy, Discectomy, or Laminectomy

Review of Wong AP, et al.: Comparison of symptomatic cerebral spinal fluid leak between patients undergoing minimally invasive versus open lumbar foraminotomy, discectomy, or laminectomy.  World Neurosurgery ¾:634-640, 2014.


In a review of 863 patients undergoing open vs. minimally invasive lumbar spinal surgery, the authors analyzed the risk of a common complication of spinal surgery.  This complication is leakage of spinal fluid from the spinal sac.  This complication was twice as common in patients undergoing open surgery.  Patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery were half as likely to have this complication.  Additionally, patients with a fluid leak were much more likely to need invasive treatment with open surgery.  In no patient undergoing minimally invasive surgery was invasive treatment required.

This article adds to the research showing the safety of minimally invasive surgery of the spine.  Your surgeons at the Texas Spine and Neurosurgery Center are experts in minimally invasive spinal surgery.  We pioneered may advances in this type of treatment.  Minimally invasive surgery is associated with a lower risk of complications, less pain, and faster recovery than standard open spinal surgery.


By Rajesh K. Bindal, M.D.