Thoracoscopic vertebrectomy for thoracolumbar junction fractures and tumors: Surgical technique and evaluation of the learning curve

Wilson Z. Ray, Meic H. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Stud. Des.: Retrospective Stud.. Objective: the Authors Evaluated the Surg. Tech. and Lrng. Curve for Video-assisted Thoracoscopic Surg. for Treating Thoracolumbar Junction Burst Fractures and Bony Tumors by Examining Surg. Data and Outcome for the First 30 VATS Procedures Performed by A Single Surg. at A Train. Inst.. Summary of Background Data: VATS Is Commonly Used in the Treatm. of Early-stage Lung Cancer. Widespread Use of This Tech. among Neurosurgeons Is Ltd. by the Lack of Cases and the Steep Lrng. Curve. Methods: This Stud. Was A Retrospective Case Ser. of the First 30 T12 and L1 Thoracoscopic Vertebrectomies from 2003 to 2008. the Sample Was Ltd. to 1 Surg. and 1 Reg. of the Spine to Minimize the Potential Variation so That A Lrng. Curve Could Be Assessed. Surg. Data and Outcomes Were Analyzed. Estim. Blood Loss and Oper. Time Were Analyzed Using A Lin. Generalized Estimating Equation Model with A First-order Autoregression Correlation Struct.. Results: the Average Oper. Time for Thoracoscopic Corpectomy Was 27065 Minutes . Operating Rm. Time Decreased Significantly after the First 3 Operations. the Authors Observed A Stable Lin. Decrease in Operating Time over the Course of the Stud.. the Average Blood Loss during the Thoracoscopic Procedure Was 433330mL and Did Not Change As the Ser. Progressed. Complications and Conversions to Open Procedures Occurred in 2 Patients and Were Evenly Distributed Throughout the Ser.. Conclusions: Thoracoscopic Vertebrectomy at the Thoracolumbar Junction Has A Relatively Long Lrng. Curve. in This Ser., Operating Rm. Time Improved Dramatically after the First 3 Cases but Continued to Improve Subsequently. the Lrng. Curve Can Be Accomplished Without An Increase in Blood Loss, Complications, Rate of Conversion to Open Procedures, or Frequency of Misplaced Instrum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E344-E350
JournalClinical spine surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2016


  • Learning curve
  • Thoracolumbar junction
  • Thoracoscopy


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