Minimally Invasive Spine Technology and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery: A Historical Review
Dr. Jeffrey Oppenheimer
The trend of using smaller operative corridors is seen in various surgical specialties. Neurosurgery has also recently embraced minimal access spine technique, and it has rapidly evolved over the past 2 decades. There has been a progression from needle access, small incisions with adaptation of the microscope, and automated percutaneous procedures to endoscopically and laparoscopically assisted procedures. More recently, new muscle-sparing technology has come into use with tubular access. This has now been adapted to the percutaneous placement of spinal instrumentation, including intervertebral spacers, rods, pedicle screws, facet screws, nucleus replacement devices, and artificial discs. New technologies involving hybrid procedures for the treatment of complex spine trauma are now on the horizon. Surgical corridors have been developed utilizing the interspinous space for X-STOP placement to treat lumbar stenosis in a minimally invasive fashion. The direct lateral retroperitoneal corridor has allowed for minimally invasive access to the anterior spine.