Multiple anterior and posterior approaches to the thoracic disc space have been reported. However, we are not aware of any previous reports describing a transforaminal approach for thoracic disc release and interbody cage placement. In this case report, we describe a method to perform transforaminal thoracic interbody fusion (TTIF), which is an adaptation of an established lumbar fusion technique (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion). Key differences between the two procedures are discussed. A 24-year-old woman presented after sustaining a T11-12 Chance fracture that had been treated in a brace. She had severe, debilitating pain and a rigid segmental kyphotic deformity of 38°. The patient was treated 3 months post-injury with T10-L1 fusion with anterior release and interbody fusion with cage placement at T11-12. Anterior column release and fusion were performed via a transforaminal approach. The patient had anatomic reduction of deformity, solid arthrodesis, and relief of pain at 1-year follow-up. The TTIF approach permits access to the anterior column of the thoracic spine for the purpose of reduction of deformity and interbody fusion with reduced morbidity compared to anterior–posterior surgery.
About the HSS Journal
HSS Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal, is published twice a year, February and September, and features articles by internal faculty and HSS alumni that present current research and clinical work in the field of musculoskeletal medicine performed at HSS, including research articles, surgical procedures, and case reports.