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A Journal on Neurosurgery

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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2015 Jun 17

language: English

Maximal access surgery for posterior lumbar inter body fusion (PLIF) with divergent, cortical bone trajectory (CBT) pedicle-screws: a good option for minimize spine access and maximize the field for nerve decompression

Gautschi O. P. 1, Garbossa D. 2, Tessitore E. 1, Langella F. 3, Pecoraro M. F. 2, Marengo N. 2, Bozzaro M. 2, Beckman J. 4, Berjano P. 5

1 Service de Neurochirurgie, Département de Neurosciences cliniques, Faculté de Médecine et Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, Genève, Switzerland;
2 Neurosurgery, Department of Neurosciences and Mental Health, University of Torino, Italy;
3 Orthopaedic Division, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli, Napoli, Italia;
4 Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA;
5 IVth Spine Surgery Division, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milano, Italy


AIM: First advocated by Santoni et al. in 2009, the cortical bone trajectory (CBT) pedicle screw technique is an alternative to the traditional, convergent technique that shows comparable biomechanical features and potentially requires less aggressive tissue retraction. Aim of this therapeutical note is to describe this new technique focusing on main advantages and limitations.
METHODS: The authors provide a detailed description of the surgically relevant anatomy focusing on the positioning of the cortical trajectory screws. The surgical technique is then described in a precise step-by-step manner, stressing complication avoidance.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The maximal access surgery PLIF approach is a safe, reproducible procedure allowing for a traditional lumbar spine approach with the benefits of minimal facet joint manipulation and potentially preserving part of their neural innervation and a large part of the paraspinous musculature. A dedicated self-retaining retractor and directional neuromonitoring may guide surgeons during the procedure. Nevertheless, the surgeon’s knowledge of anatomical landmarks, response to visual and tactile cues and intraoperative decision-making skills remain of paramount importance.

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