Corpectomy refers to removal of one or more vertebral bodies to treat compressive myelopathy caused by extensive hypertrophic osteoarthritis. In most cases, the intervertebral discs are removed as well. It is most commonly performed for degenerative cervical myelopathy; however, thoracic and lumbar spine spondylosis may also be treated by corpectomy.

Technique

An anterior or posterior approach may be utilised.

Bone graft is often used to fill the formed space 1. Typically, an autograft from the patient's pelvic bones (most commonly, the iliac wing) or lower limb bones (most commonly, the fibula) is used. Alternatively, a mechanical construct can be inserted (e.g. titanium cage). Less commonly, bilateral stabilising decompression rods are applied, without filling the post-corpectomy gap.

Complications

  • neurological deficits 2
  • dural tear with CSF leak
  • wound infection
  • graft displacement
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