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A Comparison of the Degree of Lateral Recess and Foraminal Enlargement With Facet Preservation in the Treatment of Lumbar Stenosis With Standard Surgical Tools Versus a Novel Powered Filing Instrument: A Cadaver Study

Murat Cosar, MD,1 Larry T. Khoo, MD,2 Christopher A. Yeung, MD,3 Anthony T. Yeung, MD3

1Department of Neurosurgery, Canakkale 18 Mart University of Medical School, Canakkale, Turkey 2The Division of Neurosurgery, UCLA, Los Angeles, California 3The Arizona Institute for Minimally Invasive Spine Care, Phoenix, Arizona



The SurgiFile (SurgiFile, Inc., Carlsbad, California) is a specialized tool designed for the treatment of lateral recess and foraminal stenosis that allows surgeons to internally expand and decompress the entire length of the neural foramen while preserving the integrity of the overlying facet complex.


We used two cadaveric specimens in this study. After they removed the lamina and spinous processes of L2, L3, L4, and L5 from the dorsal spine, fellowship-trained spinal surgeons used the standard tools and the SurgiFile to the best of their experience and ability on alternating sides of each level to decompress the lateral recess and neural foramen while still preserving at least 50% of the dorsal facet complex. Using preoperative and postoperative fine-cut CT scans with axial and sagittal reconstructions, we evaluated the degree of decompression and the amount of preserved facet complex using analytical tests and recording the measurements.


The difference between the proximal recess and lateral foramen of the groups was statistically significant in the axial CT images. On sagittal reconstruction CT images, the difference between the two groups was significant (< 0.05, Wilcoxon) only for the lateral foramen. Although a strong trend toward better area change was evident for the proximal recess measurements in the experimental tool sides, this did not achieve statistical significance. Macroscopic and CT scans measurements showed that the amount of facetectomy for adequate decompression with the SurgiFile was less than the amount achieved with the standard tools.


For the treatment of spinal stenosis, this novel powered-file instrument provides surgeons with a new means of decompressing the lateral recess and neural foramina. In this cadaveric study, procedures performed with the SurgiFile tool showed a statistically superior degree of decompression as compared with the standard surgical instruments and techniques.

Foraminal stenosis, lateral recess, spinal stenosis, spinal surgery
Volume 1 Issue 4