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Minimally invasive surgery in the cervical spine: recent advances

Wang, Michael Y

Current Opinion in Orthopaedics: May 2007 - Volume 18 - Issue 3 - p 259–262
doi: 10.1097/BCO.0b013e3280d646f5
Cervical spine

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.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA

Correspondence to Michael Y. Wang, MD, Spine Director, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Southern California, 1200 North State Street, Suite 5046, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA Tel: +1 323 226 7421; fax: +1 323 226 7833; e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.