Gisela Murray, Joshua Beckman, Konrad Bach, Donald A. Smith, Elias Dakwar, Juan S. Uribe

April 2015, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 397 - 404 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-015-3894-1

First Online: 08 April 2015


Minimally invasive techniques have become increasing popular and are expanding into deformity surgery. The lateral retroperitoneal transpsoas anterior column release (ACR) is a newer minimally invasive alternative to posterior osteotomy techniques for correcting and promoting global spinal alignment. This procedure attempts to avoid the potential complications associated with conventional osteotomies, but has its own subset of unique complications to be discussed in depth.


A retrospective review was performed in all patients who underwent the minimally invasive (MIS) ACR procedure from 2010 to present at our institution. All perioperative and postoperative complications were recorded by an independent reviewer. Demographics, spinopelvic parameters, and operative data were collected. The primary etiologic diagnosis was adult spinal deformity. Spinopelvic parameters were measured based on standing 36-inch scoliosis films.


Thirty-one patients underwent a total of 47 MIS-ACRs. The mean age of the cohort was 62. Mean follow up was 12 months (range 3–38 months). The average change from in lumbar lordosis (LL) was 17.6°, in pelvic tilt was 4.3°, coronal Cobb was 13.9 and in SVA was 3.8 cm. Of the 47 MIS-ACR procedures, there were 9 (9/47, 19 %) major complications related to the ACR. Iliopsoas weakness was seen in eight patients and retrograde ejaculation in one patient. Only one patient remained with mild motor deficit at the most recent follow-up. No revision surgeries were required for the anterolateral approach. There was no vascular, visceral, or infectious complications associated with the MIS-ACR.


The MIS-ACR is one of the most technically demanding procedures performed from the lateral transpsoas approach. This procedure has the advantage of maintaining and improving spinal global alignment while minimizing blood loss and excessive tissue dissection. It comes with its own unique set of potentially catastrophic complications and should only be performed by surgeons proficient in both deformity correction and the lateral approach.

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