A costotransversectomy is a procedure used in corpectomy and fusion procedures, as well as in many other spinal surgeries. It is used to remove a portion of rib, as well as the transverse process of a vertebra, allowing an anterior spinal surgery to be performed, rather than a posterior procedure. The benefits of an anterior procedure are clearly demonstrated, and it also avoids potential complications common to posterior procedures. It is also used in conjunction with other methods to treat spinal tumors. To learn more about costotransversectomy, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at the AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health by calling Call407-303-5452.

The Case for Spinal Decompression

The most common use of a costotransversectomy is for patients suffering from severe back pain due to a compression of the spinal nerves. Any number of causes can create this compression, including tumors and bone spurs, as well as degenerative spine diseases. During a corpectomy, Dr. Chetan Patel will make an interior incision, allowing him to access the material to be removed from the side, rather than approaching this from the posterior position. An anterior incision offers far greater access to vertebral material as well. In order to access the material for removal, the surgeon will have to perform a costotransversectomy – the removal of a small portion of rib and the transverse process of the vertebra in question. This allows the decompression of nerves by removing the material causing the compression in the first place.

The Case for Spinal Tumor Treatment

While a costotransversectomy is often used for spinal decompression purposes, it can also be used to help treat spinal tumors (which may or may not be causing nerve compression). By performing a costotransversectomy, Dr. Chetan Patel is able to access spinal tumors for treatment via radiation and chemotherapy. Tumor excision can also be performed at this time.

Combined with Fusion Procedures

Generally, a corpectomy is combined with spinal fusion. During the fusion procedure, Dr. Chetan Patel will add a bone graft or bone graft material to the site of initial removal. This will be strengthened with instrumentation, which can include plates, rods and screws. The instrumentation will provide support during the healing process and ensure the bone graft remains in the precise location required for healing and fusion with the existing vertebral bones.

The End Result

In the end, costotransversectomy provides substantial advantages, particularly when access to the thoracic spine is required. The previous posterior incision method created serious complications. However, by combining an anterior approach with a costotransversectomy, it is possible to remove tumors or treat them with conventional means that would be impossible in any other way. Additionally, the spinal column can be reconstructed, spinal nerve compression relieved and stabilization of the spine achieved. Patients are able to enjoy better mobility, a reduction in their pain and suffering, and even better bowel control.

After surgery, most patients are able to start walking once more within a very short time (many, the same day). However, full recovery will require physical therapy and time to heal. To learn more about costotransversectomy, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at the AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health by calling Call407-303-5452.