Lateral Extracavitary Corpectomy for Spine Tumors is Effective & Safe
A patient presented with persistent, progressive back pain unrelated to level of activity and refractory to medication. An X-ray and MRI revealed the presence of a tumor on his spine. To stabilize the spine and resect the tumor, Dr. Benjamin Cohen and Dr. Marc Agulnick performed a lateral extracavitary corpectomy — which allows for the simultaneous exposure of the posterior bony elements and anterior vertebral column through the same, small incision.
This minimally invasive procedure is a technically challenging surgery requiring extraordinary skill, experience and thorough knowledge of the thoracic and retroperitoneal anatomy, but allows the surgeon to access the anterior lateral aspects of the spine and dura without exposing the anterior thoracic or abdominal cavity, and without the need for a much lengthier and involved two-stage procedure. After stabilizing the spine posteriorly with pedicle screws and hooks linked together with rods on either side of the spinal column, they accessed the front of the spine by resecting a section of the posterior rib on one side. Through that one small portal, the diseased vertebra was removed, the stabilizing instrumentation was affixed, and an expandable, titanium mesh cage filled with the resected rib was placed to produce a bone graft, facilitate spinal fusion and create a new, cancer-free "vertebra."
Full text of this article can be found on pp 7-8 of the Fall 2010 issue of Winthrop University Hospital's Progressive Neuroscience