Revisiting anterior longitudinal ligament release: Are we ready for an endoscopic approach?

Roberto J. Perez-Roman, Vignessh Kumar, Gregory Basil, Michael Y. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anterior longitudinal ligament release is a proven method for restoring spinopelvic parameters. This technique is mostly described using either lateral or anterior approaches with paucity regarding a posterior method. This paper is the first to provide descriptive analysis of the neurovascular anatomy in the context of planning for a posterior endoscopic ALL release. A retrospective chart review was performed on patients underwent any lumbar surgery by a single surgeon. Anatomical data was obtained from pre-operative CT to describe the location of key neurovascular structures in relation to the ALL with focus on posterior approach. A total of 20 patients were included in data analysis. A posterior approach with endoscopic assistance would be feasible at L4/5 and L5/S1, where the bifurcation of the abdominal aorta has occurred with a vessel window that ranges from 18.85 mm to 33.45 mm with at least 2 mm space between the vessels and the corresponding disc spaces in the anterior-posterior dimension with slight predilection of the left side at the L5/S1 level to avoid any neurovascular structures. Our study confirmed the findings of previous studies examining the vascular anatomy associated with the lumbar spine. Interestingly, we found that direct midline would likely not be the best location for a posterior annulotomy, and that both the window between the iliac vessels as well as the distance in AP dimension between the spine and vessels increases as you descend the lumbar spine. This information will help guide future efforts to fully develop a safe and reproducible posterior endoscopic ALL release.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-172
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • ALL
  • Adult spinal deformity
  • Endoscopic
  • Release

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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