Thoracic kyphotic deformity reduction with a distractible titanium cage via an entirely posterior approach

Daniel M. Sciubba*, Gary L. Gallia, Matthew J. McGirt, Graeme F. Woodworth, Ira M. Garonzik, Timothy Witham, Ziya L. Gokaslan, Jean Paul Wolinsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Surgical correction of thoracic kyphotic deformity is often associated with significant surgical and neurological morbidity and unsatisfactory reduction of kyphosis, especially in patients who cannot tolerate anterior thoracic procedures because of associated comorbidity. We describe a technique in which kyphotic deformity of the thoracic and thoracolumbar spine is corrected, decompressed, and stabilized with a circumferential fixation construct from a lone posterior approach. METHODS: We reviewed the radiographic and clinical outcomes of seven patients undergoing vertebrectomy via a bilateral modified costotransversectomy approach followed by posterior placement of a distractible cage, reduction of the deformity via cage distraction, and supplemental dorsal instrumentation. All patients possessed thoracic/ thoracolumbar kyphosis; however, a transthoracic approach was thought to be high risk because of medical comorbidity. RESULTS: Seven patients underwent this procedure for thoracolumbar kyphosis resulting from a spinal tumor, osteomyelitis, and fracture. Vertebrectomies were performed at T2-T3, T4-T5, T5-T6, T12-L1, and L1. The mean preoperative kyphosis was 28.6 degrees, the mean postoperative kyphosis at the time of the final follow-up examination was 12.1 degrees, and the mean change in kyphosis was 53%. The mean long-term follow-up period was approximately 16 months. At the time of the final follow-up examination for all patients, there was no decline in neurological function, and pain management consisted of minimal use of oral narcotics. CONCLUSION: This technique allows for circumferential decompression of the spinal cord via a posterior approach in patients with thoracic kyphotic deformities who cannot tolerate anterior thoracic approaches. In addition, in situ distraction of the expandable cage allows correction of sagittal imbalance and restores height without the potential loss of spinal height associated with osteotomies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)ONS-223-ONS-230
Issue number4 SUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Deformity
  • Expandible cage
  • Kyphosis
  • Kyphotic correction
  • Posterior approach
  • Thoracic spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Thoracic kyphotic deformity reduction with a distractible titanium cage via an entirely posterior approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this