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J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2015 May;76(3):240-3. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1368094. Epub 2014 May 2.

Minimally invasive direct lateral corpectomy for the treatment of a thoracolumbar fracture.

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Neuroscience Institute, Epworth Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Thoracolumbar corpectomies have historically been performed using open exposure procedures. Thoracotomies carry substantial morbidity due to increased complications and postoperative pain. The extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) approach is a safe, minimally invasive alternative approach to the thoracolumbar spine. A recent modification of XLIF allows thoracolumbar corpectomy to be used for tumors, osteomyelitis, and fractures. We reviewed literature relevant to minimally invasive lateral approaches and thoracolumbar pathology. This case report illustrates the usefulness of this approach in the case of a thoracolumbar flexion distraction fracture treated with a corpectomy. The involved surgical technique is described in detail. This approach can be performed without an access surgeon, and the minimally invasive lateral approach reduces the relative morbidity commonly associated with open approaches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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