In lumbar disc surgery, retractors must be used to keep muscles away from bones and ligaments that must be removed. Traditional retractors use two blades that retract from side to side, creating a rectangular exposure. Tubular retractors allow, however, for the most efficient retraction of muscle, because they create a circular exposure, thus exposing the most area for the size of any given incision.
The Spotlight retractor by Depuy (Raynham, MA) not only is tubular, but connects to a high intensity light source that provides superior visibility. We commonly use this retractor for minimally invasive discectomies and laminectomies.