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Experimental model for transforaminal endoscopic spine1 1 Research performed at Division of Neurosurgery and Pediatric Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery and Anatomy, Hospital Universitário, Ribeirao Preto Medical School, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Ribeirao Preto-SP, Brazil.



To validate the porcine spine as a model for learning and practicing transforaminal percutaneous endoscopic lumbar procedures (TF-PELP).


TF-PELP was performed in three porcine cadaver lumbar spine levels. Anatomical features of the current cadaver were compared to human and porcine spines. Performance and documentation of endoscopic procedures were described.


This study shows that this representative animal model reflects anatomical characteristics of the human spine. Transforaminal approaches were successfully completed. Although lower disc heights make disc puncture more difficult, the outside-in technique is feasible and more useful to identify anatomical parameters and to practice different surgical steps and maneuvers.


This is an effective and representative model for learning and practicing this procedure. Difficulties of the procedure, as well as the differences compared to the human spine, were described.

Key words:
Discectomy; Percutaneous; Endoscopy; Intervertebral Disc Displacement; Lumbar Vertebrae; Learning Curve; Models; Animal

Sociedade Brasileira para o Desenvolvimento da Pesquisa em Cirurgia - São Paulo - SP - Brazil