Endoscopic surgery on the thoracolumbar junction of the spine
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The thoracolumbar junction is the section of the truncal spine most often affected by injuries. Acute instability with structural damage to the anterior load bearing spinal column and post-traumatic deformity represent the most frequent indications for surgery. In the past few years, endoscopic techniques for these indications have partially superseded the open procedures, which are associated with high access morbidity. The particular position of this section of the spine, which lies in the border area between the thoracic and abdominal cavities, makes it necessary in most cases to partially detach the diaphragm endoscopically in order to expose the operation site, and this also provides access to the retroperitoneal section of the thoracolumbar junction. A now standardised operating technique and instruments and implants specially developed for the endoscopic procedure, from angle stable plate and screw implants to endoscopically implantable vertebral body replacements, have gradually opened up the entire spectrum of anterior spine surgery to endoscopic techniques.
KeywordsThoracolumbar junction Endoscopic spine surgery Spinal canal decompression Spinal lesions Diaphragm detachment
Conflict of interest statement
The author receives royalties from Aesculap, Tuttlingen, Germany and was involved in the technical development of MACS-TL® (constraint plate and screw system for endoscopic anterior instrumentation) and Hydrolift® (Vertebral Body Replacement Device) as a consultant to Aesculap.
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