Review: complications of minimally invasive spinal surgery

Neurosurgery. 2002 Nov;51(5 Suppl):S26-36.


Complications of minimally invasive spinal surgery can be related to anesthesia, patient positioning, and surgical technique. The performance of successful minimally invasive spinal surgery is beset with several technical challenges, including the limited tactile feedback, two-dimensional video image quality of three-dimensional anatomy, and the manual dexterity needed to manipulate instruments through small working channels, which all account for a very steep learning curve. Knowledge of possible complications associated with particular minimally invasive spinal procedures can aid in their avoidance. This article reviews complications associated with minimally invasive spinal surgery in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine by reviewing reported data of sufficient detail or with sufficient numbers of patients. In addition, possible complications associated with anesthesia use, patient positioning, and surgical techniques during thoracoscopic and laparoscopic spinal procedures are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endoscopes / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / instrumentation
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / instrumentation
  • Spine / surgery*