Antonio Bocchetti, Valentina Cioffi, Raffaele de Falco

November 2017, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 505 - 513 Ideas and Technical Innovations Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-017-5041-7

First Online: 22 March 2017


Purpose Thoracic disk herniation is uncommon. It still represents a challenge for spinal surgeons. Multiple surgical strategies are available and, often, they are matter of debate. We describe a preliminary experience about a combined extra-intra dural approach for posterolateral disk herniation in patients affected by spinal cord compression.


We performed a combined extra-intra dural approach in two preliminary cases. We performed bilateral laminectomy of adjacent vertebrae and unilateral partial medial arthrectomy of the involved segment. After a lateral extradural diskectomy, we, subsequently, performed a median longitudinal durotomy. The conflict between disk herniation and spinal cord was identified. We removed disk herniation moving disk fragments in the extradural compartment without ventral spinal dura opening.


We solved spinal cord compression in both cases. Postoperative neurological improvement was observed in both cases. No major complications were observed.


Our preliminary results are probably insufficient to establish surgical criteria but offer another surgical perspective to especially treat patients with contraindication to anterior approaches.

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