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A technical case report on use of tubular retractors for anterior cervical spine surgery



The authors put-forth this technical report to establish the feasibility of performing an anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion (ACCF) and a two-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) using a minimally invasive approach with tubular retractors.


First case: cervical spondylotic myelopathy secondary to a large postero-inferiorly migrated disc treated with corpectomy and reconstruction with a mesh cage and locking plate. Second case: cervical disc herniation with radiculopathy treated with a two-level ACDF. Both cases were operated with minimally invasive approach with tubular retractor using a single incision. Technical aspects and clinical outcomes have been reported.


No intra or post-operative complications were encountered. Intra-operative blood loss was negligible. The patients had a cosmetic scar on healing. Standard procedure of placement of tubular retractors is sufficient for adequate surgical exposure with minimal invasiveness.


Minimally invasive approach to anterior cervical spine with tubular retractors is feasible. This is the first report on use of minimally invasive approach for ACCF and two-level ACDF.

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Correspondence to Arvind G. Kulkarni.

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Kulkarni, A.G., Patel, A. & Ankith, N.V. A technical case report on use of tubular retractors for anterior cervical spine surgery. Eur Spine J 27, 1454–1459 (2018).

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  • Tubular retractors
  • Cervical spine
  • Minimal invasive spine surgery
  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
  • Spinal fusion