Contralateral neurologic deficits following microendoscopic lumbar surgery. Can it happen?

Tsung Jen Huang, Robert Wen Wei Hsu, Yen Yao Li, Chin Chang Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A contralateral neurologic deficit following microendoscopic discectomy (MED) or laminectomy (MEL) had not previously been reported. Between September 1999 and April 2004, 60 patients with symptomatic lumbar disc herniations or spinal stenotic syndrome received MED or MEL at the authors' institution. Three out of 60 patients were found to exhibit a contralateral neurologic deficit following unilateral microendoscopic surgery. All three patients complained of a newly developed, contralateral neurologic deficit following their operations. One MED patient with a concomitant contralateral disc herniation developed contralateral motor and sensory deficits and required immediate open surgery. At the two-year follow-up, a residual motor deficit was noted. The other two patients (1 MED, 1MEL) with temporary sensory deficits were only treated conservatively and experienced complete recovery one week and six weeks following the operation, respectively. Surgeons should pay close attention to the possibility that contralateral neurologic deficits may occur following MED or MEL. Our reports indicate that caution should be exercised when performing microendoscopic procedures on patients with substantial dural compromise, a concomitant contralateral disc herniation, or a lateral spinal stenosis, which may be etiologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalMinimally Invasive Therapy and Allied Technologies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Contralateral neurologic deficit
  • Lumbar spine
  • Microendoscopic discectomy (MED)
  • Microendoscopic laminectomy (MEL)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Surgery


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