Thoracoscopic interbody fusion of the thoracic spine was performed on patient and the results and relevant literature are discussed in this report.
The case was a 38-year-old man who visited our hospital complaining of back pain. He was found to develop radiating pain to the intercostal nerve with positional changes. MRI revealed degenerative and herniated intervertebral disk at TH7/8.
Operation was performed under general anesthesia at the left lateral position. Small skin incisions were made at 4 points and thoracic spinal interbody fusion was performed using a thoracoscope by lateral insertion of a threaded fusion cage.
The chest drain was removed 2 days after operation and the patient started walking after 4 days with a body cast. 5 weeks after operation, the patient was allowed to wear an elastic corset. The course was uneventful with no findings of postoperative complications and back pain was alleviated.
This mode of surgical technique is concidered to minimize surgical scar, reduce pain after surgery, and decrease respiratory complications as compared to thoracotomy, enabling early commencement of rehabilitation and early return to society. The technique may be used widely in the future for spinal operations.