A novel technique for temporary fixation during posterolateral thoracic corpectomy

J Spinal Disord Tech. 2011 Dec;24(8):E66-70. doi: 10.1097/BSD.0b013e318227b549.


Study design: Description of novel technique.

Objective: The objective of this study is to describe a novel technique of temporary fixation for posterolateral thoracic corpectomy.

Summary of background data: Posterolateral approaches have been used to successfully perform thoracic corpectomies for a variety of pathologies. As currently described, these approaches require the use of temporary fixation, usually in the form of unilateral pedicle screws and rod. One limitation of this technique is that the vertebral body may only be approached from one side at a time, as the temporary fixation rod obstructs the view of the surgeon or the assistant.

Methods: The authors introduce a novel technique for temporary fixation during posterolateral thoracic corpectomy. A series of 8 patients is presented in whom a temporary fixation cross-rod was placed diagonally between cephalad and caudad contralateral pedicle screws. This allowed simultaneous access to the vertebral bodies by 2 surgeons, thereby improving exposure and decreasing operative time and estimated blood loss.

Results: There were no complications related to temporary fixation during the procedures, and no translational movement was observed.

Conclusions: Diagonal temporary rod fixation is a useful modification of standard posterolateral thoracic corpectomy techniques that allows simultaneous bilateral access for vertebral body resection.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Screws*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal Fixators*
  • Laminectomy / instrumentation*
  • Laminectomy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome