Neurospine.  2022 Mar;19(1):212-223. 10.14245/ns.2142942.471.

Comparative Analysis of 3 Types of Minimally Invasive Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy for Foraminal Stenosis, Uniportal-, Biportal Endoscopy, and Microsurgery: Radiologic and Midterm Clinical Outcomes

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Spine Center, Leon Wiltse Memorial Hospital, Anyang, Korea
  • 2Department of Neurosurgery, Spine Center, Leon Wiltse Memorial Hospital, Suwon, Korea


The aim of this study was to compare the clinical and radiologic outcomes of 3 types of minimally invasive posterior cervical foraminotomy (PCF): uniportal endoscopic surgery, biportal endoscopic surgery, and microsurgery.
Between January 2019 to January 2020, PCF was performed using 3 different approaches to treat foraminal stenosis. The foraminal expansion rate, facet resection rate, and surgical foraminal approach angle were measured using magnetic resonance imaging. Visual analogue scale (VAS) scores for neck and arm pain, neck disability index (NDI), MacNab criteria, operation time, hospital stay, and complications were assessed. Clinical and radiologic parameters were compared among the 3 surgical groups.
There were 38, 30, and 50 patients in the uniportal endoscopy, biportal endoscopy, and microscopy groups, respectively. Microscopy group displayed significantly higher foraminal expansion compared to uniportal endoscopy group (p = 0.001). Facet resection rates and inclination angle for facet joint undercutting were significantly different among the 3 groups. Uniportal endoscopy group had the highest inclination angle and the least facet resection. On the 6 months and final follow-up, VAS scores and NDI were significantly lower in the uniportal endoscopy group than in the microscopy group (p = 0.000).
All 3 types of PCF displayed favorable clinical outcomes and sufficient expansion of the midforaminal area. Two endoscopy groups showed a significantly higher inclination angle for undercutting the facet joint and a lower facet resection rate than the microscopy group. Reduced facet joint resection using an inclinatory approach did not interfere with sufficient foraminal expansion and enhanced the clinical result after 6 months of follow-up.


Endoscopy; Cervical vertebrae; Foraminotomy; Radiculopathy; Inclinatory
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