European Spine Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 618–624 | Cite as

Minimally invasive ventral spondylodesis for thoracolumbar fracture treatment: surgical technique and first clinical outcome

  • Markus SchultheissEmail author
  • Lothar Kinzl
  • Lutz Claes
  • Hans-Joachim Wilke
  • Erich Hartwig
Original Article


A new instrumentation system for ventral stabilization of the spine that can be used for an endoscopic and minimally invasive approach was developed. We describe the implantation technique and report on the first clinical results. This prospective study covers the first 45 patients to undergo this new technique since it was introduced in 1999. In all patients the operation was successfully performed in a completely minimally invasive procedure. Mono- and bisegmental stabilization was performed mainly at the thoracolumbar junction after initial posterior instrumentation in most cases. Lesions varied from fresh/old fractures to metastases (T5–L3). Pre- and postoperative follow-up included clinical examination and radiological visualization via X-ray and computed tomographic scan. Our experience with this minimally invasive procedure demonstrated the feasibility of the method.


Thoracolumbar burst fractures Spinal stabilization Spinal decompression Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus Schultheiss
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lothar Kinzl
    • 1
  • Lutz Claes
    • 2
  • Hans-Joachim Wilke
    • 2
  • Erich Hartwig
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Trauma, Hand and Reconstructive SurgeryUniversity of Ulm UlmGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Orthopedic Research and BiomechanicsUniversity of UlmGermany

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