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Learning Curve for Interlaminar Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy: A Systematic Review

 Yong Ahn  ;  Sol Lee  ;  Seong Son  ;  Ho Kim 
 WORLD NEUROSURGERY, Vol.150 : 93-100, 2021-06 
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Diskectomy / education* ; Diskectomy, Percutaneous / education* ; Endoscopy / education* ; Endoscopy / methods ; Humans ; Intervertebral Disc Degeneration / surgery* ; Intervertebral Disc Displacement / surgery* ; Learning Curve* ; Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / education ; Neurosurgery / education* ; Professional Competence
Discectomy ; Endoscopic ; Interlaminar ; Learning curve ; Lumbar ; Operative time ; Outcome
Background: Interlaminar endoscopic lumbar discectomy (IELD) is an efficient surgical treatment for lumbar disc herniation. However, this minimally invasive procedure requires a considerable learning curve that has not yet been standardized. This review aimed to evaluate the learning curve's characteristics, including the cutoff point required to achieve technical proficiency and to discuss appropriate training methods.

Methods: We systematically searched the core databases (PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library) for clinical studies that evaluated the learning curve using quantitative data. We performed a quality assessment using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. We also compared descriptive statistics, including operative time and other variables before and after the cutoff point.

Results: Six studies reporting 302 cases of IELD were selected from 7188 screened articles. The cutoff point was randomly set in 3 studies and determined as the curve's asymptote in 3 studies. The mean value for the cutoff point was 22.17 ± 12.40 cases (range: 10-43 cases) and mainly determined based on the operative time, which was shorter in the late group than that in the early group (P < 0.05). The cutoff points were not significant for patient outcome parameters such as pain score, functional result, surgical failure, or complications.

Conclusions: The evidence of published studies regarding the learning curve for the IELD technique is insufficient. The reported cutoff points may be significant only for task efficiency. Moreover, they may not represent the asymptote of the curve. Future studies should evaluate the actual plateau points using patient outcome data.
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4. Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > 1. Journal Papers
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