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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 308209, 6 pages
Review Article

Use of Lateral Access in the Treatment of the Revision Spine Patient

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, 101 City Drive, Pavillion 3, Orange, CA 92868, USA
2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, 400 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA

Received 3 September 2012; Accepted 21 November 2012

Academic Editors: L. Pimenta, W. D. Smith, and W. Taylor

Copyright © 2012 Samuel S. Bederman 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.


With the rate of spinal surgery increasing, we have seen a concomitant increase in the number of revision cases. It is, therefore, important to have a systematic approach to the management of these complicated patients with unique problems. A thorough understanding of the different pathologies affecting revision spine patients is critical to an effective treatment recommendation. Lateral access is a useful management approach since it can avoid the complications of operating through previous approaches. Furthermore, it possesses certain advantages for treatment in specific circumstances outlined in this paper. Long-term studies are needed to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the lateral approach compared to the anterior and posterior approaches in the treatment of revision spine patients.