Editors: Daniel H. Kim, MD; Gun Choi, MD; and Sang-Ho Lee, MD
Publisher: Thieme – 279 pages
Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

Just after eye surgery and heart surgery, spine surgery is the third most common operative area, but it is growing faster than procedures on the other two, points out Dr. Donlin M. Long in his Foreword to this book, an amply-illustrated guide to various techniques pertaining to the cervical, lumbar, and thoracic regions of the spine.

He states that even when surgeries are successful, there are three negatives to consider: costs are high, the complications are frequent, and the period of post-surgery disability is long. But the good news is that many of the surgical procedures are minimally-invasive, and that trend is growing. In this work minimally-invasive operative techniques are emphasized as much as possible in the correction of spinal disease.

This book and its accompanying valuable DVD has been developed for use by neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, interventional radiologists, and anyone working to care for patients with spine problems. This is a large-size (9” x 11.5”) book with nearly 700 black-and-white and full-color images of various types: charts, drawings, micrographs, photos (of anatomy, instruments, and patients), and tables with arrayed data.

Twenty-six specialists in neurosurgery, orthopedic (including spine) surgery, and a few other fields contributed content to this unique text.  Of these, about two thirds – 17 – are from South Korea, six from India, and one each from Brazil, Colombia, and the United States.

Their contributions – 20 chapters – are organized around four sections, namely:

  • Section I – Principles and Essentials of Percutaneous Endoscopic Spine Surgery
  • Section II – Percutaneous Endoscopic Cervical Diskectomy (PECD)
  • Section III – Percutaneous Endoscopic Thoracic Diskectomy (PETD
  • Section IV – Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Diskectomy (PELD)

The accompanying DVD contains 19 videos of procedures which are organized on the basis of four groups:

  1. Transforaminal Surgical Approach (Cases 1 to 8)
  2. Extratransforaminal Surgical Approach (Cases 9 and 10)
  3. Surgical Technique for Migrated Disk with Foraminoplasty (Cases 11 to 15)
  4. Interlaminar Surgical Approach (Cases 16 to 19)

The materials are presented in each chapter of this book in a direct, straight-forward manner using large-type headings, short paragraphs, and lots and lots of bullet points. This simple approach makes it easier for you the user of this book to look up topics in a snap and easily grasp the text. To give you an example, let’s take a quick look in Section III at chapter 10, Applied Anatomy and Percutaneous Approaches to the Thoracic Spine. 

Here are the main components of this chapter in outline form:

  • History (two paragraphs of text)
  • Introduction (six paragraphs of text)
  • Anatomical Considerations (five bullet points
  • Goals (five bullet points)
  • Advantages (four bullet points)
  • Patient Selection (four bullet points)
  • Indications (four bullet points)
  • Contraindications (five bullet points)
  • References (21 sources of information)

This is a well-organized book-and-DVD package that’s a highly informative (and authoritative, with the insight of 26 experts) resource for those preparing to practice or already in practice in spine surgery.

Some of the important features of this book and DVD package are the following:

  • Bullet-point format enabling rapid reference prior to surgery
  • 19 high-resolution videos – one for every procedure described in the book – appear on the DVD.
  • 694 high-quality illustrations prepare readers for surgery, including radiographs, full-color endoscopic views, detailed drawings, and 3-D surgical views
  • 29 clinical cases demonstrate how to tell the differences between spine levels and between disease states



Daniel H. Kim, MD, FACS is Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Spinal Neurosurgery and Reconstructive Nerve Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Gun Choi, MD, PhD is Attending Professor at Hanyang Medical College, and President of Medical Affairs and Director of the Endoscopic Spine Center at Wooridul Spine Hospital in Seoul, South Korea.

Sang-Ho Lee, MD, PhD is Chairman of Wooridul Spine Hospital in Seoul, South Korea.