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A Journal on Orthopedics and Traumatology

Official Journal of the Piedmontese-Ligurian-Lombard Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology
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Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2005 October;56(5):465-81

language: English

Current techniques in minimally invasive cervical disc surgery

Thongtrangan I. 1, Thongtrangan K. 1, Kim D. H. 2

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Virginia Commonwealth University Health Center Richmond, VA, USA
2 Department of Neurosurgery Stanford University Medical Center Stanford, CA, USA


The concept of minimally invasive spinal surgery embodies the goal of achieving comparable clinical outcomes as those of conventional open surgery while minimizing the iatrogenic injury incurred during the exposure process. Minimally invasive cervical disc procedures have been transformed from successful in the lumbar spine. The procedures can be performed either via anterior or posterior approach. The anterior procedure is still using the constant anatomical landmark such as the tracheoesophageal groove, the medial border of the sternocleidomastoid inconjuction with imaging fluoroscopic machine, endoscope and microscope make the impossible possible. The anterior procedures include percutaneous microdiscectomy/laser thermodiscoplasty, and anterior cervical foraminotomy and its modifications. The posterior procedures include posterior microendoscope laminoforaminotomy, posterior cervical laminectomy, and posterior cervical laminoplasty. Each technique has been delineated and reviewed. The results are at least comparable or better than the conventional procedures. Nevertheless, the learning curve of these new techniques and the long term outcomes need to be taken in consideration.

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