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Online ISSN 1827-1707
Singh H. 1, Moraff A. 1, Evans J. 2
1 Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA;
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA
There is immense interest through all surgical subspecialties in minimally invasive surgery. Driven by a desire to improve cosmesis, reduce infections, preserve surrounding soft tissue integrity and reduce blood loss, these new techniques nonetheless pose a technical challenge for surgeons. In this paper, we discuss the various endoscopic approaches for minimally invasive cervical spine surgery, and evaluate their effectiveness, as well as associated complications compared to their open counterparts. In addition to a discussion of technique, extensive literature search was undertaken to present the most robust data that is currently available to support each procedure. The following procedures are discussed: 1) endoscopic anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (E-ACDF); 2) endoscopic posterior cervical foraminotomy (E-PCF); 3) endoscopic endonasal approach to the upper cervical spine; 4) endoscopic transoral approach to the upper cervical spine.