Ahead of Print: Anterior Longitudinal Ligament Release From the Minimally Invasive Lateral Retroperitoneal Transpsoas Approach: Technical Note

BACKGROUND: The technique for minimally invasive anterior longitudinal ligament release is a major advancement in lateral access surgery. This method provides hypermobility of lumbar segments to allow for aggressive lordosis restoration while maintaining the benefits of indirect decompression and minimally invasive access.

OBJECTIVE: To provide video demonstration of the lateral retroperitoneal transpsoas approach with anterior longitudinal ligament sectioning.

METHODS: A detailed surgical technique of the minimally invasive anterior column release is described and illustrated in an elderly patient with adult spinal deformity and low back pain (visual analog scale, 8 of 10) refractory to conservative measures. The 3-foot standing radiographs demonstrated a lumbar lordosis of 54.4[degrees], pelvic incidence of 63.7[degrees], and pelvic tilt of 17.5[degrees]. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging showed generalized lumbar spondylosis and degenerative disc changes from L2 to L5.

RESULTS: The patient underwent a multilevel minimally invasive deformity correction with an anterior longitudinal ligament release at the L3/L4 level through the lateral retroperitoneal transpsoas approach. Lumbar lordosis increased from 54.4[degrees] to 77[degrees] with a global improvement in sagittal vertical axis from 4.37 cm to 0 cm. Total blood loss was less than 25 mL, and there were no major neurological or vascular complications.

CONCLUSION: The anterior longitudinal ligament release using the minimally invasive lateral approach allows for deformity correction without the morbidity and blood loss encountered by traditional open posterior approaches. However, the risk of major vascular/visceral complication warrants only experts in minimally invasive lateral surgery to attempt this technique.

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