Tubular Endoscopic Thoracic Decompressive Laminectomy

34 Tubular Endoscopic Thoracic Decompressive Laminectomy


Ryan Khanna and Zachary A. Smith


34.1 Introduction


Spinal surgeons are choosing to perform more and more cases using endoscopic instruments due to the advantages offered by minimally invasive approaches. Advances in technology have allowed the incorporation of these techniques in thoracic decompression. While the procedure is still evolving, there are indications for the use of endoscopes in thoracic decompression (Video 34.1).


34.2 Choice of Patient


34.2.1 Indications


• Symptomatic compression of the thoracic spinal cord (Fig. 34.1)


• Epidural hematoma and infection


• Thoracic epidural tumors


• Degenerative compression: ossified ligamentum flavum, synovial cysts (Fig. 34.2)


34.2.2 Contraindications


• Instability of the spinal column


• Any procedure requiring fusion of thoracic vertebrae


• Scoliosis


• Significant postlaminectomy scar (relative)


• Previous instrumentation at operative level


34.3 Technique


34.3.1 Position and Anesthesia


General anesthesia (propofol and remifentanil) is used, along with monitoring of somatosensory and motor evoked potentials. The patient is placed in the prone position, with the head secured in a Mayfield three-point fixation holder.


Surgical levels are identified and marked using lateral fluoroscopy and counting cephalad from the sacrum. Levels are confirmed with anteroposterior fluoroscopy by counting thoracic ribs. The authors commonly employ preoperative fiducial markers (Fig. 34.3). It is their experience that a fiducial marker placed at the level of the pedicle aids in minimizing operative time, decreases radiation exposure during the operation, and additionally adds safety in the correct localization of the surgical level. In particular, this is helpful in single-level cases in patients with poorly defined radiographic anatomy.


Skin infiltration is accomplished with a mixture of lidocaine and bupivacaine injected at the incision site.


34.3.2 Skin Entry


The skin entry point is incised 2.0 cm lateral to the midline in a rostral-caudal direction, for 20 to 24 mm.




Mar 29, 2020 | Posted by in ORTHOPEDIC | Comments Off on Tubular Endoscopic Thoracic Decompressive Laminectomy
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