Learning Curve for Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Diskectomy in Bi-needle Technique Using Cumulative Summation Test for Learning Curve.


Department of Orthopaedics, Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : The purpose of this study was to determine the number of cases needed to achieve the level of competence for percutaneous endoscopic lumbar diskectomy (PELD) via the bi-needle technique using the cumulative summation test for learning curve (LC-CUSUM).
METHODS : A retrospective design was used. We included 60 patients who underwent a single-level PELD via the bi-needle technique performed by a single surgeon. The surgeon had 5 years of experience in open surgery including the transforaminal endoscopic spine system and Yeung endoscopic spine system but no experience in the bi-needle technique. Surgery success was defined as an operative time <60 minutes, and the acceptable procedure was completed within 3 times of C-arm fluoroscopies. The LC-CUSUM was used to analyze the data.
RESULTS : The average operative time for PELD via the bi-needle technique was 58.3 ± 12.4 minutes. The mean operative time was 65.7 ± 12.1 minutes in the early learning period (30 cases) and 51.0 ± 7.5 minutes in the late learning period (30 cases) (P < 0.05). On the basis of the evaluation indexes of the operative time and radioactive exposure, the LC-CUSUM signaled proficiency for the bi-needle technique at the 50th-54th operation. Seven cases of complications were observed during the whole learning process, with 6 in the early period and 1 in the late period (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS : The novel bi-needle technique is safe and effective for PELD with appropriate patients, and the learning curve is acceptable. A substantial learning period (50-54 cases) is needed before a spine surgeon can master the bi-needle technique.


Bi-needle technique,Cumulative summation,Learning curve,Lumbar disk herniation,Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar diskectomy,

OUR Recent Articles