Thoracic Spine


A new, minimally invasive treatment for compression fractures of the spine. The most common cause of compression fractures is osteoporosis. The traditional treatment for fractures within a vertebral body (one of the bones of the spine) caused by osteoporosis has included pain reduction medication, bed rest, and bracing. Kyphoplasty offers immediate pain relief and stabilization of the vertebral body. It is also effective in treating pathologic compression fractures. The procedure uses a balloon to straighten the fractured area of the vertebral body. Once this is achieved, bone cement is injected into this newly formed space to obtain immediate stabilization and maintenance of the upright posture. At the conclusion of the procedure, the spine is better aligned and stabilized and pain is dramatically relieved. Kyphoplasty is done through a quarter-inch incision. Small tubes are placed into the fracture with x-ray guidance. One to two punctures are made in the back over each involved vertebra. A balloon is inserted through the small punctures and navigated into the vertebra using x-ray guidance. Similar to an angioplasty procedure, the balloon is then inflated, thereby reducing the fracture.



XLIF Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion

The direct lateral approach has been used for many years to approach the spine. Early on, this approach had significant complications because in the lumbar area, it involved going directly through the iliopsoas musculature. This would injure the ilioinguinal nerve and produce thigh weakness with direct iliopsoas muscle damage. The procedure has become popular again due to the fact that it can now be performed through two small incisions with the initial probe containing a nerve monitor to protect from muscle and nerve damage. It allows a direct lateral approach to the spine through two small 1" incisions and removal of the disc or in some cases, possibly a failed total disc replacement. This procedure is not lengthy and has minimal blood loss and much quicker recovery than any other anterior type approach to the lumbar or thoracic spine. An animation of the XLIF Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion can be seen under the Lumbar section.

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