En bloc resection of a C4 chordoma: Surgical technique

Yoseph Leitner, Shay Shabat, Luca Boriani, Stefano Boriani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The prognosis of aggressive benign and low-grade malignant tumors in the spine as in the limbs, seems to be mostly related to the feasibility of en bloc resection, while in the treatment of high-grade malignant tumors the protocols of treatment include the combination of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Indications, criteria of feasibility and surgical technique are extensively reported for the thoracic and lumbar spine. In the cervical spine few cases are reported of resection, due not only to anatomical constraint, but also to the rarity of finding a tumor accomplishing the criteria of feasibility. A case of double-approach vertebrectomy finalized to remove en bloc the body of C4 for a stage IA chordoma is reported. The first stage was posterior, aiming to remove the posterior healthy elements by piecemeal technique. The anterior approach consisted of contemporary right and left prevascular presternocleidomastoid approaches The specimen was submitted for the histological study of the margins, which resulted tumor-free. This technical note is finalized to confirm that en bloc resection of the vertebral body through total vertebrectomy is feasible in the midcervical spine by double approaches, provided the tumor involves only layers B and C, maximum extension sectors 5-8.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2238-2242
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical spine
  • Chordoma
  • En bloc resection


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