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Learning Curve for Transforaminal Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy: A Systematic Review

 Yong Ahn  ;  Sol Lee  ;  Seong Son  ;  Ho Kim  ;  Ji Eun Kim 
 WORLD NEUROSURGERY, Vol.143 : 471-479, 2020-11 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Clinical Competence* ; Diskectomy, Percutaneous* / methods ; Humans ; Learning Curve*
Discectomy ; Endoscopic ; Learning curve ; Lumbar ; Outcome ; Percutaneous ; Transforaminal
BACKGROUND: Transforaminal percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (TPELD) has become an alternative and minimally invasive surgical technique for soft lumbar disc herniation. However, the learning curve has been relatively long and difficult. In the present study, we have summarized the characteristics of the learning curve of TPELD, including the number of cases required to achieve technical proficiency, and discussed the strategies to improve the learning curve. METHODS: The PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and KoreaMed databases were searched for reports describing the learning curve for TPELD. Clinical studies involving human patients and evaluating the learning curve of TPELD with quantitative data were included. A strict quality assessment was completed, and descriptive statistics were calculated. RESULTS: Of the 6884 screened titles and abstracts, 10 full-text reports, including 958 cases, were included in the analysis. All were cohort studies, which were grouped into early and late groups according to surgeon experience with TPELD. The most commonly used cutoff to differentiate between these groups was 20 (mean, 24.70 +/- 18.99 cases; range, 10-72 cases). The most widely used measure was the operative time. Although most studies had reported better results in the operative time or pain scores in the late group, only 1 study had proposed a bona fide learning curve. CONCLUSIONS: We found insufficient evidence to support a cutoff point of 20 or other numbers of cases for determining when the learning curve has reached a plateau. Therefore, these numbers should be interpreted with great care, and high-quality prospective studies evaluating the actual learning curve are required.
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4. Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > 1. Journal Papers
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