© 1983

Surgical Approaches to the Spine


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Robert G. Watkins
    Pages 1-6
  3. Robert G. Watkins
    Pages 7-11
  4. Robert G. Watkins
    Pages 12-19
  5. Robert G. Watkins
    Pages 39-42
  6. Robert G. Watkins
    Pages 43-49
  7. Robert G. Watkins
    Pages 50-56
  8. Robert G. Watkins
    Pages 57-57
  9. Robert G. Watkins
    Pages 69-79
  10. Robert G. Watkins
    Pages 80-82
  11. Robert G. Watkins
    Pages 83-88
  12. Robert G. Watkins
    Pages 89-95
  13. Robert G. Watkins
    Pages 96-100
  14. Robert G. Watkins
    Pages 112-116

About this book


The desire to expose the spine for surgery by anterior approaches at any level between the head and the sacrum is not new. Spinal pathology is often located anterior to the spinal cord and nerve roots in the cervical and thoracic spine, and anterior to the peripheral nerves that emerge from the lumbosacral spine below the first lumbar ver­ tebra. To treat such pathology one prefers to expose the front of the spine directly and widely enough to eradicate the pathology and to have full control of bleeding throughout the procedure. The posterior elements of the spine are important for mechanical stability of the spine, and therefore for the protection of the neural and vascular structures in the spine that would be threatened by instability. Extensive eradication of pathology posterior to the spinal canal and the intervertebral foraminae, including the transverse processes, may leave no adequate bony bed for the surgical creation of a stabilizing osseous fusion. In such a situation, an anterior fusion procedure is the only viable alternative to a posterior or posterolateral fusion. In situations where it is critically important to obtain a stable fusion, as in tuberculosis of the spine, both an anterior and a posterior fusion operation at the same motion segments is, in almost every instance, a guarantee of a stable osseous fusion. One should know both approaches.


Wirbelsäulenchirurgie head instability spinal cord spinal surgery spine spine surgery surgery

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Southwestern Orthopaedic Medical Group, Inc.Centinela Hospital Medical CenterInglewoodUSA
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryUniversity of Southern CaliforniaUSA
  3. 3.Spinal Disorders ServiceLos Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical CenterUSA
  4. 4.Spinal Cord Injury ServiceRancho Los Amigos HospitalDowneyUSA
  5. 5.Southern California Regional Spinal Cord Injury CenterUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Surgical Approaches to the Spine
  • Authors Robert G. Watkins
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 1983
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-387-90758-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4684-0157-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4684-0155-4
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages , 0
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Surgical Orthopedics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


From the reviews of the second edition:

"This second edition covers new areas like minimally invasive endoscopic approaches … but deals with quite complicated ones as well. … Thanks to the use of colour drawings and photographs, the iconography magnificently illustrates the clearcut text presented in a step-by-step methodical description. … This attractive book will be of a tremendous interest for any adult as well as pediatric orthopaedist or neurosurgeon performing spinal surgery. We can congratulate the authors for this well conceived book and the editor for the quality … ." (C.R. Muller, Acta Orthopaedica Belgica, Vol. 70 (3), 2004)

"Progress in spine surgery combined with the desire to make this work more complete prompted R.G. Watkins to direct this second edition. Several new chapters enrich this work, which now contains 43 chapters, constituting a solid base of work. … The text is enhanced by an abundant of associated iconography with many photographs and drawings … . The text is very didactic, with point-by-point descriptions … . This update is essential for all those who practise spine surgery regularly and constitutes an indisputable reference." (Laurent Balabaud, European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology, Vol. 15 (2), 2005)