Minimally Invasive Muscle Sparing Posterior-Only Approach for Lumbar Circumferential Decompression and Stabilization to Treat Spine Metastasis--Technical Report.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: Palliative tumor resection and subsequent stabilization are important for maximizing function and quality of life for patients suffering from spinal metastases. However, traditional operative techniques for spinal metastases with vertebral body destruction involve extensive soft tissue dissection. In the lumbar spine, open 2-staged spine procedures are routinely required with an anterior retroperitoneal approach for corpectomy and cage insertion and posterior decompression and stabilization with pedicle screws and rods. Both stages require extensive soft tissue dissection that results in significant surgical morbidity, long recovery time, and subsequent delay in initiating postoperative chemoradiotherapy, as well as initially hampering patients' overall quality of life. A minimally invasive approach is desirable for achieving spinal stability, pain control, functional recovery, rapid initiation of adjuvant therapies, and overall patient satisfaction, especially in patients whose medical and surgical therapies are aimed at palliation rather than cure. PRESENTATION: A 59-year-old man with renal cell carcinoma and a known L1 vertebral body metastasis presented with severe progressive low back pain and was found to have a pathologic L1 vertebral body fracture with focal kyphosis. INTERVENTION: Here, we describe a minimally invasive muscle-sparing, posterior-only approach for L1 transpedicular hemicorpectomy and expandable cage placement, L1 laminectomy, and T11-L3 posterior instrumented stabilization. The surgical corridor was achieved through the Wiltse muscle plane between the multifidus and longissimus muscles so that minimal muscle detachment was required to achieve transpedicular access to the anterior and middle spinal columns. The L1 nerve root was completely skeletonized to allow adequate lumbar hemicorpectomy, tumor resection, and expandable titanium cage insertion. Lastly, percutaneous pedicle screws and rods were inserted from T11 to L3 for stabilization. RESULT: The patient tolerated the procedure well with no complications and less than 200 mL estimated blood loss. Postoperative computed tomography revealed restoration of intervertebral height and adequate tumor resection with excellent placement of the expandable cage and posterior construct. The patient was discharged on postoperative day 4 and had nearly no back pain 3 weeks after surgery. Adjuvant therapies were started soon after. At the 6-month follow-up, the patient required minimal narcotic pain medication. Computed tomography scan demonstrated stable hardware with no evidence of failure. CONCLUSION: A minimally invasive muscle-sparing, posterior-only approach is a promising surgical strategy for 360-degree decompression and stabilization for the treatment of lumbar spinal metastases with minimized blood loss, muscle detachment and postoperative pain, and fast postoperative recovery and initiation of adjuvant therapy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Donnelly, DJ; Abd-El-Barr, MM; Lu, Y

Published Date

  • November 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 84 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1484 - 1490

PubMed ID

  • 26100166

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-8769

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.wneu.2015.06.018


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States