Thoracic discectomy surgery can be performed either with an anterior approach (through the chest) or a posterior entry (through the back). Small incisions are made through the back midline or side of the chest (rib cage area). The use of microscopes may be used during the surgical procedure for a better visualization of the surgery area. After the removal of the bone, parts of the rib cage structure may be substituted for replacement (costo-transversectomy) of the removed area of the spinal cord. Fusion may be required in some cases to produce connectivity between vertebrae along the spinal cord.