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Safety and Usefulness of Free Fat Grafts After Microdiscectomy Using an Access Cannula: a Prospective Pilot Study and Literature Review

Scientific Paper

Chin KR1, Bassora RYu WD.

Interested medical professionals can read the full paper, published also in the American Journal of Orthopedics, here.


Placing an interpositional fat graft over the dura has been practiced to prevent sciatica due to nerve tethering from scar. We assessed feasibility, outcomes, and complications of free fat grafts in patients undergoing lumbar microdiscectomy for herniated discs using an access cannula. Retrospective review of prospectively collected data on 69 consecutive patients: those who received autologous fat graft (Group I) and those who did not (Group II). Clinical evaluation of leg pain and nerve tension sign was performed in the immediate postoperative period and at 1 month, 6 months, 12 months, and 24 months. The combined visual analog scale (VAS) scores for leg pain improved from 8.3 preoperatively to 1.3 (P < 0.5). The average VAS score for leg pain was 1.4 (0 to 3) in Group I and 1.3 (0 to 3) in Group II (P > 0.05). Ninety-one percent had resolution of their leg pain immediately postop and 96% at final follow-up. This study found no increased complications with the use of fat graft, but no clinical benefit, therefore the use of fat graft should be discouraged. The potential complication with the use of fat graft is the “mass effect” on the dura, and therefore, the width of the graft should be <1 cm.

About Author & Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Kingsley R. Chin

Dr. Kingsley R. Chin, Founder of philosophy and practice of The LES Society and The LESS Institute

Dr. Kingsley R. Chin is a board-certified Harvard-trained Orthopedic Spine Surgeon and Professor with copious business and information technology exposure. He sees a niche opportunity where medicine, business and info. tech meet – and is uniquely educated at the intersection of these three professions. He has experience as Professor of Clinical Biomedical Sciences & Admissions Committee Member at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, Professor of Clinical Orthopedic Surgery at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Visiting Spine Surgeon & Professor at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and Adjunct Professor of Clinical Biomedical Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

Learn more about Dr. Chin here and connect via LinkedIn.

About Less Exposure Surgery

Less Exposure Surgery (LES) is based on a new philosophy of performing surgery, leading the charge to prove through bench and clinical outcomes research that LES treatment options are the best solutions – to lowering the cost of healthcare, improving outcomes and increasing patient satisfaction. Learn more at LESSociety.org.

The LES Society philosophy: “Tailor treatment to the individual aiding in the quickest recovery and return to a pain-free lifestyle, using LES® techniques that lessen exposure, preserve unoffending anatomy and utilize new technologies which are safe, easy to adopt and reproducible. These LES®techniques lessen blood loss, surgical time and exposure to radiation and can be safely performed in an outpatient center. Less is more.” – Kingsley R. Chin, MD

About The LESS Institute

The LESS Institute is the world leader center of excellence in Less Exposure Surgery. Our safe, effective outpatient treatments help patients recover quickly, avoid expensive hospital stays and return home to their family the same day. Watch our patient stories, follow us on Facebook and visit TheLESSInstitute.com to learn more.

About SpineFrontier

The above study utilized LES Technology from SpineFrontier – leading provider of LES Technologies and instruments – offering surgeons and patients superior technology and services.

Scientific Paper Author & Citation Details


Chin KR1, Bassora RYu WD.

Author information

Charles E Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University and The Less Exposure Surgeons Surgery Institute (LESS Institute), Fort Lauderdale, FL. [email protected]

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