Review Article

The use of minimally invasive surgery in spine trauma: a review of concepts

Jael E. Camacho, M. Farooq Usmani, Ashely R. Strickland, Kelley E. Banagan, Steven C. Ludwig


Traumatic injuries to the spine can be common in the setting of blunt trauma and delayed diagnosis can have a deleterious effect on patients’ health. The goals of treatment in managing spine trauma are prevention of neurological injury, providing stability to the spine, and correcting post-traumatic deformity. Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) techniques are an alternative to open spine surgery for treatment of spine fractures. MISS is also a viable treatment in the setting of damage control orthopedics, when patients with multiple traumatic injuries may be unable to tolerate a traditional open approach. MISS techniques have been used in the treatment of unstable fractures with or without spinal cord injury, flexion and extension-distraction injuries, and unstable sacral fractures. Traditional open surgeries have been associated with increased blood loss, longer operative times, and a higher risk for surgical site infection (SSI). MISS techniques have the potential to reduce open approach-associated morbidity, and improve postoperative care and rehabilitation. MISS techniques for spine trauma are an indispensable option in the treatment armamentarium of spine surgeons.

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