• thoracolumbar lateral corpectomy;
  • disk herniation;
  • chronic disk disease;
  • spinal cord decompression;
  • dog

Objective— To describe a technique for thoracolumbar lateral corpectomy and to evaluate its use for treatment of chronic thoracolumbar disk disease in dogs.

Study design— Retrospective study.

Animals— Fifteen dogs with signs of chronic thoracolumbar disk herniation.

Methods— After a dorsal or lateral approach to the spine, a lateral slot was created in 2 adjacent vertebral bodies on either side of the herniated disk and extruded/protruded material was removed. Data collected included history, duration of clinical signs, presurgical assessment of neurologic status, postsurgical neurologic status, complications, and outcome.

Results— Ambulatory capacity was maintained or regained, and neurologic status improved by 1 grade (3 dogs), 2 grades (8), 3 grades (2), or 4 grades (2). Eleven dogs were considered free of disease. A seroma in 1 dog was the sole complication observed.

Conclusions— Lateral corpectomy permits relatively easy removal of protruded–extruded disk material from within the vertebral canal in chronic disk disease without further iatrogenic injury to the spinal cord.

Clinical Relevance— Lateral corpectomy is an alternative to dorsal decompression for treatment of ventral and lateroventral thoracolumbar chronic disk disease in dogs.