Minimally Invasive Lateral Access Spine Surgery
The back part of each vertebra arches to form the lamina. The lamina creates a roof-like cover over the back opening in each vertebra. The opening in the center of each vertebra forms the spinal canal. The spinal cord, nerves, and arteries travel through the protective spinal canal. The spinal cord and nerves send messages between your body and brain.
Intervertebral discs are located between the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertebrae. Strong connective tissue forms the discs. Their tough outer layer is the annulus fibrosus. Their gel-like center is the nucleus pulposus. A healthy disc contains about 80% water.
First, the surgeon makes a small incision on the side flank. Dilators that provide electromyographic (EMG) data navigate the surgeon towards the spine. Retractors gently spread the muscles to access the spine.
Once the appropriate area of the spine is reached, the required surgery can be performed. Finally, the retractors are removed, and the incisions are closed.
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