Purpose of review: Surgical intervention for decompression or stabilization of the cervical spine is a common procedure utilized over 200 000 times per year in the USA and the trend towards minimally invasive surgical intervention has made recent advances in this area.
Recent findings: Minimally invasive approaches for posterior cervical foraminotomy are becoming more widely utilized, with several large clinical series validating the safety and efficacy of this technique. Central canal decompression for spinal cord impingement as well as fusion and stabilization techniques are still in their infancy, but there are increasing reports of technical advances in this area.
Summary: Minimally invasive surgical treatments for pathology affecting the cervical spine are being developed and numerous reports of new surgical techniques have emerged over the last 5 years. Advances in imaging, micromanipulation and robotics will likely lead to effective treatments that may supplant some of our current open surgical techniques.