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Decompression anterior or antero-lateral spine through the lateral approach is a contemporary orthopaedic surgery. It is done to provide significant pain relief to the patients who have lived with back or leg pain for years and did not get better response from the other conservative treatments such as physical therapy, steroid injections or pain medications.

The lateral approach to the spine can be performed for a variety of conditions such as degenerative disc disease, recurrent disc herniation, spondylolisthesis, pseudoarthrosis, spinal instability, osteomyelitis, post-laminectomy syndrome and several types of traumas.

Recently, patient candidacy is expanded and anterior and lateral tumors of the thoracolumbar spine and scoliosis are included in that. However, all patients are not suitable candidates for the lateral approach.

The spinal decompression procedure is done under general anaesthesia. It is performed by making a 3 cm incision in the lateral flank. This surgical dissection is performed via the placement of serial dilators. Real-time fluoroscopic guidance is used to insure safety and accuracy.

The expandable tubular retractor is carefully forwarded through the psoas muscle to the desired disc space or vertebral body. Now, the pathologic tissue is removed and a large inter-body spacer is placed. Sometimes, supplemental screws are required to increase the stability of constructing fusion.

Decompression Anterior or
Antero-Lateral Spine
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