In direct lateral spine surgery approach, the surgeon takes a side approach and centers the incision over the patient’s flank. With this approach, the surgeon can reach the vertebrae and intervertebral disks without moving the nerves or opening up muscles in the back.
During the surgery, the patient lies on their side and the table is bent to provide the surgeon with a maximum view of the spine. A tubular retractor is inserted through the skin and soft tissues down to the spinal column. The tubular retractor holds the muscles open and gives the surgeon a clear view of the spine. The surgeon then complete the procedure with minimal damage to the tissues surrounding the spine.