Anterior column realignment (ACR) with anterior longitudinal ligament (ALL) release from a lateral transpsoas approach is increasingly being used as a minimally invasive technique to restore lordosis. Safe execution requires a plane between the ALL and the anterior vasculature. An unfavorable plane on preoperative imaging is a contraindication to using the technique. We describe a patient undergoing multistage minimally invasive correction of a flat-back deformity who had an unfavorable plane between the ALL and vasculature at L4-5. Patient consent was provided, and Institutional Review Board approval was not required. To safely complete the ALL release and ACR, we elected to sharply incise the lateral aspect of the ligament at L4-5 with direct control of the vessels during the anterior approach for an L5-S1 anterior lumbar interbody fusion. We then moved to the lateral transpsoas approach and used controlled distraction techniques to complete the ALL release and then to complete the ACR in a standard fashion. We ultimately achieved excellent realignment with correction of the patient’s flat-back deformity using minimally invasive surgical techniques while minimizing vascular risk. Used with permission from Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona.
Copyright © 2019 by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.