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Minimally Invasive Surgery
Volume 2012, Article ID 213791, 10 pages
Review Article

Minimally Invasive Thoracic Corpectomy: Surgical Strategies for Malignancy, Trauma, and Complex Spinal Pathologies

1Department of Neurological Surgery, Northwestern University McGaw Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60208, USA
2University of California San Francisco-Fresno Community Hospital of Fresno, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA

Received 16 March 2012; Accepted 7 June 2012

Academic Editor: Nicholas Slimack

Copyright © 2012 Rohan R. Lall et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The rapid expansion of minimally invasive techniques for corpectomy in the thoracic spine provides promise to redefine treatment options in this region. Techniques have evolved permitting anterior, lateral, posterolateral, and midline posterior corpectomy in a minimally invasive fashion. We review the numerous techniques that have been described, including thoracoscopy, tubular retraction, and various instrumentation techniques. Minimally invasive techniques are compared to their open predecessors from a technical and complication standpoint. Advantages and disadvantages of different approaches are also considered, with an emphasis on surgical strategies and nuance.