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Anterior Transsternal Approach for Treatment of Upper Thoracic Vertebral Osteomyelitis: Case Report and Review of the Literature.


Direct ventral access to the cervicothoracic spine (C7-T4) poses a technical challenge in spine surgery, given the vital neurovascular structures residing anterior to the cervicothoracic junction (CTJ). The transsternal approach is a feasible surgical option that allows for direct anterior exposure of the lower cervical and upper thoracic vertebrae. Here, the authors report a case of an elderly gentleman with upper thoracic (T1-2) vertebral osteomyelitis and epidural abscess who underwent a transsternal full median sternotomy for ventral decompression and fusion of C7-T2. We also detail our operative procedure and review relevant literature on different transsternal approaches to the CTJ.

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