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Prior to performing the discectomy, the level is confirmed with intraoperative fluoroscopy.

The following landmarks are identified:

  • Midline
  • Uncovertebral process

The midline will dictate the AP orientation of the discectomy.

The uncovertebral processes dictate the lateral borders of the discectomy, establishing the safe area from the artery. This will leave a 3mm safe zone to the normal anatomy of the vertebral artery.