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Orthopedics. 2012 Jan 16;35(1):e74-9. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20111122-04.

Minimally invasive thoracolumbar corpectomy and reconstruction.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.


Minimally invasive surgical approaches have been advocated to approach ventrolateral thoracolumbar pathology. This article describes our technique for performing minimally invasive surgical thoracolumbar corpectomy and reconstruction. Twenty-five consecutive patients at a single institution were treated between 2006 and 2010 for a variety of diagnoses including tumors, infections, and trauma. Treatment variables, including operating time, estimated blood loss, number of levels treated, and complications, were collected, as were visual analog scale (VAS) scores for pain.Surgical times (mean, 188.5 minutes) and blood loss (mean, 423 mL) reflect a significant improvement over standard open corpectomy procedures. More than 60% of patients did not need blood products after the corpectomy procedure because substantial blood loss encountered during an open exposure to the spine was obviated. Similarly, operative times and anesthetic load was minimal enough for ≥80% of our patients to be extubated immediately after the corpectomy procedure. A 62% decrease in self-reported VAS scores was observed. No wound complications or radiographic evidence of implant subsidence or failure were observed at last follow-up.The advantages of the minimally invasive approach for corpectomies of the thoracolumbar spine were that an access surgeon was not needed; tissue dissection and surgical exposure were reduced, improving VAS scores postoperatively; and blood loss and operative times were minimized, preventing hemodynamic deterioration in these complex cases. Corpectomies may be performed in this fashion safely, with excellent pain relief and without many of the morbidities and difficulties associated with conventional open procedures.

Copyright 2012, SLACK Incorporated.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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