The spinal cord passes through the vertebral column, which forms a boney protective cover. However, a spinal tumor can compress the spinal cord or spinal nerves, leading to pain, loss of sensation and/or motor function in the part of the body supplied by the compressed nerve. Thoracic vertebrectomy is the surgical removal of the vertebrae to decompress the nerve and restore function.
Thoracic vertebrectomy is indicated for both primary and metastatic tumors of the spine, as well as bone fractures or dislocations which cause severe decompression of the spinal cord and nerves. The surgery can be performed from either the front, back or a combined approach. You will be positioned accordingly and administered general anesthesia. An incision is made over the diseased vertebrae and underlying muscles carefully separated. Once the diseased vertebra or vertebrae are located, the tumor is carefully resected along with the vertebrae. A margin of healthy tissue is maintained to ensure that all the tumor is removed. An implant is then carefully placed to occupy the defect left after resection. Adaptors on either end are secured to ensure perfect anchorage of the implant. Once the surgery is complete, the incision is closed with sutures.