Circumferential arthrodesis and reconstruction is necessary after a lumbar corpectomy in the setting of malignancy and infection. The advent of expandable cage technology now allows for safe anterior column reconstruction via a posterior approach with no transection and minimal retraction of the lumbar spinal nerve roots.
Fifteen patients underwent a single-stage, circumferential corpectomy and anterior spinal reconstruction with an expandable cage via a midline, posterior, lateral lumbar extracavitary approach. Posterior segmental pedicle screw fixation and iliac crest bone graft was used in all cases.
Fifteen lumbar extracavitary corpectomy nerve root-sparing procedures have been performed to date, with at least 1-year follow-up (12 tumors/3 infections). No patient suffered any neurological complications. One patient suffered from a postoperative myocardial infarction 10 days after the procedure. Two patients had medical complications that were treated without sequelae.
We present a technical description and case series of patients undergoing a single-stage, circumferential corpectomy and anterior spinal reconstruction with an expandable cage via a midline, posterior, lateral lumbar extracavitary approach with at least 1-year follow-up. The technique is safe, technically feasible, and obviates an anterior approach in this oftentimes critically ill patient population.
*See erratum 2012;41(8):357.