The purpose of this study is to compare the clinical and radiographic outcomes of full
endoscopic lumbar discectomy versus open lumbar decompression for the treatment of lumbar
herniated discs in which the patient's leg pain is greater than back pain.
The study will be performed utilizing a prospective multi-center randomized model.
Approximately 7 centers will be included in the study as listed above. Patients will be
informed of clinical trial and asked if they would like to participate. Patients are informed
that participation is optional. Patients may withdraw from study any time prior to or after
surgery. Patients will be randomized 2:1 ratio endoscopic:open surgery. Both the endoscopic
and open surgical techniques are utilized in standard of care. If a subject requires an open
surgery approach (based on the surgeons assessment at the time of surgery pre or post
incision) after they are randomized to the endoscopic arm, they will be switched to the open
arm and included in the open crossover arm of the study.
Study procedures will occur at the following time points; Pre-op, 6 wk, 3 mon, 6 mon, 1 yr
and 2 yr follow-up.Subjects will complete questionnaires that assess pain level and location,
functional capacity, work and health status, medication usage and duration of symptoms.
1. Patient equal to or greater than 18 years old.
2. Patients with single level para-central herniated discs from L1-S1.
3. VAS (Visual Analog Scale) leg > 40 mm.
4. Leg pain must be greater than back pain.
5. Minimum 6 weeks conservative treatment unless motor strength U< U4/5 and or
deteriorating neurologic function.
1. Lateral/subarticular, far lateral disc herniations
2. Multi-focal (multi modal) disc herniations
3. Symptomatic multiple level disc herniations
4. Active infection either spinal or otherwise
5. Prior history of lumbar spinal infection at any level
6. Spinal tumor in lumbar region
7. Dynamic (any grade) or fixed spondylolisthesis more than 3mm
8. Disc extrusion that is more superior than most inferior aspect of superior pedicle
above index disc level
9. Disc extrusion that is more inferior than the middle aspect of inferior pedicle below
the index disc level
10. Presence of unilateral or bilateral pars inter articularis defects (spondylolysis)
11. Disc herniation which is significantly calcified
12. Contra-lateral leg pain U>40 mm
13. History of peripheral diabetic neuropathy
14. Significant central stenosis with history of neurogenic claudication
16. Facet cyst on symptomatic side
17. Cauda Equina syndrome past or present
18. Patients cannot have had prior lumbar surgery including IDET (Intradiscal
Electrothermal Therapy) or other percutaneous surgical procedures.
19. Significant vascular claudication
20. History of radiation to the spinal column
21. History of malignancy of any type within 2 years of consideration of enrollment