Spinal schwannomas are typically intradural-extramedullary neoplasms thought to arise from Schwann cells or their progenitors which occur proportionally throughout the spinal canal. They most typically arise from dorsal sensory rootlets and occupy a posterior-lateral location in the spinal canal. Thus, posterior surgical procedures have become the conventional method to remove these tumors providing adequate exposure in most cases. More anteriorly located tumors may be approached through a posterolateral direction with section of the dentate ligament and gentle rotation of the spinal cord. However, posterior and posterolateral approaches may be problematic for removing tumors located in the midline and ventral to the spinal cord.
Although the anterior approach has been applied widely to treat cervical spondylosis, it has rarely been used to remove intradural tumors. Here, we present a case of a ventral cervical spinal schwannoma removed through an anterior approach followed by spinal reconstruction.