gms | German Medical Science

63rd Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society (JNS)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

13 - 16 June 2012, Leipzig

Minimally-invasive antero-lateral cervical approach to intraforaminal lesions – description of the technique and illustrative clinical cases

Meeting Abstract

  • J.F. Cornelius - Universitätsklinik für Neurochirurgie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf
  • S.O. Eicker - Universitätsklinik für Neurochirurgie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf
  • R. Bostelmann - Universitätsklinik für Neurochirurgie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf
  • H.J. Steiger - Universitätsklinik für Neurochirurgie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf
  • B. George - Service de Neurochirurgie, Hôpital Universitaire Lariboisière, Université Paris VII, France.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 63. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (JNS). Leipzig, 13.-16.06.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocSA.09.02

doi: 10.3205/12dgnc363, urn:nbn:de:0183-12dgnc3632

Published: June 4, 2012

© 2012 Cornelius et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Anteriorly located intraspinal cervical tumors with intraforaminal extension are challenging to approach. When approached from posteriorly, the facets may be compromised or some of the anterior intraforaminal extension may not be reached. When approached with a classical anterior approach, disc replacement has to be considered. As an alternative, the antero-lateral approach allows effective anterior intraspinal and intraforaminal surgery with no need for spinal stabilization. We present two illustrative cases for this technique.

Methods: In 2010, two patients (m 35 and f 18) were operated via the antero-lateral approach. The access was laterally to the jugular vein. By a more oblique trajectory to the neuro-foramen the disc space was avoided. A key point was to control the vertebral artery. Then the foramen was opened. After dural opening, the antero-lateral aspect of the spinal cord was accessible.

Results: The first patient (m 35) had a Ewing sarcoma at C6/C7. After two surgeries via posterior approaches and chemotherapy, a suspect residual intra-foraminal enhancement was resected via the antero-lateral approach. The second patient (f 18) presented with multi-segmental thickened cervical nerve roots resulting in radicular and spinal cord compression. The nerve roots C6 and C7 were biopsied. Histopathological examination found no tumor. In both cases, the approach allowed effective intradural and/ or intraforaminal surgery. Because of minimal bony resection no instrumentation to restore stability was necessary. There was no complication.

Conclusions: The technique presented allowed effective and safe surgery of the anterior intraspinal and intraforaminal region. It was minimally invasive and not compromising spinal stability.