Instruments and methods for creating an operative corridor to the spine and performing a spinal fusion. The instruments including, for example, a retractor assembly with a plurality of retractor blades, at least two pedicle screws, and a connecting rod. The retractor blades are coupled to the pedicle screws such that the operative corridor is registered to known anatomical landmarks aiding the surgeon with intraoperative orientation and anatomy identification. The retractor blades may be coupled to the pedicle screws via a polyaxial connection such that the angle of the operative corridor may be adjusted while maintaining the registration to the landmarks. Rod receivers may be attached to the pedicle screws after the disc space is operated on to minimize encumbrances on the working space within the operative corridor. A connecting rod is subsequently locked to the receivers to fix the spinal segment.