Correction of rigid scoliotic deformities involving the thoracic spine has required that a thoracotomy be performed to obtain anterior release to mobilize the deformity, as well as placement of corrective spinal instrumentation either via a separate posterior or anterior thoracic approach. To the best of the author's knowledge, this is the first published report of a case in which anterior correction of a deformity was achieved endoscopically.
A 27-year-old man presented with a rigid 85° thoracic kyphoscoliotic deformity that had developed over several years. He had previously undergone a C7-T12 laminectomy to decompress the spinal cord from a lipoma. Using thoracoscopic techniques, the author performed an anterior release and interbody fusion. Endoscopically, an anterior screw/rod system applied from T-5 to T-9 corrected the deformity to 55°.
There were no surgery-related complications. At follow-up examiniation 1.5 years after surgery, the patient had developed a solid fusion and the correction was maintained at an angle of 58°.
It is feasible to use thoracoscopic techniques to perform an anterior release and to apply anterior corrective spinal instrumentation to treat thoracic scoliotic deformities, thereby avoiding the need for an open posterior approach in which instrumentation is placed.