The lumbar corpectomy involves the near complete removal of the vertebral body. This spinal surgery procedure is commonly used for severe cases involving tumors or cancers of the spine and spine trauma such as burst fractures. The goal of the lumbar corpectomy is to remove the afflicted portion of the vertebral body and replace it with a bone graft designed to join and fuse with the remaining vertebral bodies.
A lumbar corpectomy is traditionally done from the front or the side of the spine. Recent developments in implant technology allow for a corpectomy to be done all from a posterior based approach for patients that can not tolerate an anterior surgery. The affected vertebral body is drilled out and removed. The spinal space is reconstructed with spaces, often titanium cages, and anterior instrumentation like screws and rods. A plate may be placed across the entire graft to facilitate lumbar spinal fusion.
Lumbar corpectomy may be done as an isolated procedure or in combination with a posterior spinal laminectomy and fusion.
Anterior Lumbar Corpectomy Spinal Surgery Risks
As with any surgery, some risks may be involved with a lumbar corpectomy. Incisions along the abdomen or side generally heal well, but there may be tenderness in the area. In addition, the fused bone may not properly fuse or hardware may fail and pull out from the spine, possibly requiring additional surgery to correct. General difficulties such as bleeding and infection may also occur. Patients will often be required to wear a lumbar brace for three months after surgery to facilitate healing.
University Spine Associates will work closely with you to determine if lumbar corpectomy is the best treatment for your spinal conditions. If you are selected to undergo lumbar corpectomy, University Spine Associates will detail exactly what to expect before, during, and after surgery and continue to work with you until a full recovery is made.