Mini-open lateral retroperitoneal lumbar spine approach using psoas muscle retraction technique. Technical report and initial results on six patients



The main aim of this paper was to report reproducible method of lumbar spine access via a lateral retroperitoneal route.


The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of the technical aspects and clinical outcomes of six patients who underwent lateral multilevel retroperitoneal interbody fusion with psoas muscle retraction technique. The main goal was to develop a simple and reproducible technique to avoid injury to the lumbar plexus.


Six patients were operated at 15 levels using psoas muscle retraction technique. All patients reported improvement in back pain and radiculopathy after the surgery. The only procedure-related transient complication was weakness and pain on hip flexion that resolved by the first follow-up visit.


Psoas retraction technique is a reliable technique for lateral access to the lumbar spine and may avoid some of the complications related to traditional minimally invasive transpsoas approach.

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Correspondence to Kamran Aghayev.

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Aghayev, K., Vrionis, F.D. Mini-open lateral retroperitoneal lumbar spine approach using psoas muscle retraction technique. Technical report and initial results on six patients. Eur Spine J 22, 2113–2119 (2013) doi:10.1007/s00586-013-2931-1

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  • Retroperitoneal approach
  • Interbody fusion
  • Psoas muscle
  • Lumbar plexus