Lateral Approach to the Thoracolumbar Junction: Open and MIS Techniques

Mario G.T. Zotti, Laurence P. McEntee, John Ferguson, Matthew N. Scott-Young*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


The thoracolumbar junction is a site less commonly affected by degenerative disease but disproportionately affected by unstable spinal pathologies such as fractures, infections, and neoplasms. Varying approaches for the treatment of these pathologies have been historically described, but there has been a shift toward more pathology being treated by minimally invasive approaches. While a working knowledge of the open approach and its advantages and disadvantages is important, the MIS approach is favored where feasible due to being less disruptive with reduced cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular, and cosmetic morbidity. The unique anatomy of the thoracolumbar junction is discussed with respect to the separation of and structures relevant to the abdominal and thoracic cavities. Evaluation of and preparation for surgery of patients with thoracolumbar junction pathologies are also discussed. With considered techniques, an expansion of the safe treatment of spinal pathologies has been made possible.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Spine Technology
EditorsBoyle Cheng
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319444246
ISBN (Print)9783319444239
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


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