It can be difficult to avoid violating the pleura during the retropleural approach to the thoracolumbar spine. In this video, the authors resect a short segment of rib to allow more room for pleural dissection during a minimally invasive (MIS) lateral retropleural approach. After a lateral MIS skin incision, the rib is dissected and removed, clearly identifying the retropleural space. The curvature of the rib can then be followed, decreasing the risk of pleural violation. The pleura can then be mobilized ventrally until the spine is accessed. Managing the diaphragm is also illustrated by separating the fibers without a traditional cut through the muscle.
The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2022.3.FOCVID21138