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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2017 June;61(3):325-34

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.16.03906-0


language: English

Minimally invasive cervical spine surgery

Branko SKOVRLJ 1, Sheeraz A., QURESHI 2

1 Department of Neurosurgery, North Jersey Spine Group, Wayne, NJ, USA; 2 Department of Orthopaedics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA


Degenerative disorders of the cervical spine requiring surgical intervention have become increasingly more common over the past decade. Traditionally, open surgical approaches have been the mainstay of surgical treatment. More commonly, minimally invasive techniques are being developed with the intent to decrease surgical morbidity and iatrogenic spinal instability. This study will review four minimally invasive cervical techniques that have been increasingly utilized in the treatment of degenerative cervical spine disease. A series of PubMed-National Library of Medicine searches were performed. Only articles in English journals or with published with English language translations were included. Level of evidence of the selected articles was assessed. The significant incidence of postoperative dysphagia following ACDF has led to the development and increased use of zero-profile, stand-alone anterior cervical cages. The currently available literature examining the safety and effectiveness of zero-profile interbody devices supports the use of these devices in patients undergoing single-level ACDF. A multitude of studies demonstrating the significant incidence and impact of axial neck pain following open posterior spine surgery have led to a wave of research and development of techniques aimed at minimizing posterior cervical paraspinal disruption while achieving appropriate neurological decompression and/or spinal fixation. The currently available literature supports the use of minimally invasive posterior cervical laminoforaminotomy for the treatment of single-level radiculopathy. The literature suggests that fluoroscopically-assisted percutaneous cervical lateral mass screw fixation appears to be a technically feasible, safe and minimally invasive technique. Based on the currently available literature it appears that the DTRAX® expandable cage system is an effective minimally invasive posterior cervical technique for the treatment of single-level cervical radiculopathy. Minimally invasive posterior cervical techniques continue to expand with the improvement of surgical instrumentation, microsurgical techniques and improved understanding of spinal biomechanics. While several MIS approaches already exist, there is a need for advanced and improved techniques for use in posterior cervical surgery.

KEY WORDS: Spine - Neurodegenerative diseases - Minimally invasive surgical procedures - Foraminotomy

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