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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2004 Aug 1;29(15):1681-8.

Endoscopic lateral transpsoas approach to the lumbar spine.

Author information

1
Cedars-Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

A description of a novel surgical approach to the lumbar spine and a prospective evaluation of the early surgical outcomes.

OBJECTIVES:

Describe the early postoperative results and the operative technique of a new, minimally invasive transpsoas approach for anterior fusion of the lumbar spine that minimizes the risk to large vessels and other critical structures.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:

Standard anterior endoscopic approaches to the lumbar spine require mobilization of the great vessels and sympathetic plexus. Vascular injury and retrograde ejaculation are complications clearly associated with this approach. A retroperitoneal, transpsoas approach to the lumbar spine may reduce these risks.

METHODS:

From 1996 to 2002, 21 patients (13 females, 8 males; mean age 50.0 years) underwent an endoscopic, retroperitoneal transpsoas approach for exposure of the lumbar spine. Surgical indications included discogenic pain in 14 patients, spinal instability at a level adjacent to a previous fusion in 3 patients, and progressive degenerative scoliosis in 4 patients. Data were reviewed to document the early postoperative results for this procedure. Illustrations were created to clearly describe this approach.

RESULTS:

Average operative time for the single level cases was 149 minutes (range 120-170 minutes); blood loss was 150 cc (range 50-650); postoperative hospital stay was 4.1 days. At long-term follow-up, visual analogue scale scores had decreased an average of 5.9. Mean follow-up was 3.1 years (range 2 months-6.0 years). Six patients (30%) experienced paresthesias in the groin/thigh region. Five of these same patients also complained of groin/thigh pain (27%). Two patients had symptoms that lasted longer than 1 month. One patient was converted to a mini-open lateral approach. There were no vascular injuries.

CONCLUSIONS:

Early results show the endoscopic lateral transpsoas approach to the lumbar spine to be a safe, minimally invasive method for anterior fusion of the first through the fourth lumbar vertebrae. Although there is a risk of groin/thigh numbness or pain, and these symptoms are mostly transient. This approach allows for exposure of the lumbar spine without mobilization of the great vessels or sympathetic plexus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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