Originally used by military doctors to perform surgery on wounded personnel in remote locations, robotic technology is now being applied to some types of spine surgery. With nearly half a million spine surgeries performed in the United States each year alone, advancements in this field can better the lives of countless individuals.
One of the most difficult tasks of spinal surgery, especially fusion surgery, is inserting screws into the vertebra to stabilize the spine. A surgeon has to carefully monitor fluoroscopic images to ensure that each screw is inserted in the correct location and properly secured. Robotic technology can improve the precision of this procedure and allow the surgeon to better monitor the progress of the surgery.
The optical tracking system and the surgical planning system commonly used during robotic-assisted procedures are primarily used for navigational purposes to ensure that surgical devices and tools are properly placed. Robotics are also used to bore a guide hole and insert the screw under the supervision of the surgeon.
Benefits of Robotic Assistance
Since the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements are given to the robotic device, it’s literally like the surgeon has an extra set of hands during the operation. Robotics can also reduce costs by performing tasks such as lowering or raising the operating table and providing more light when requested (when voice-activated systems are used). Additional benefits include:
- Minimal scarring
- Reduced pain and discomfort
- Reduced risk of infection (due to smaller incisions)
- Better internal views (projected to a 3-D camera with the option for magnification)
Based on technology that’s already in development, computer-aided surgery could eventually include instant availability of patient information. For instance, MRIs and related scans could be projected on a monitor that the surgeon could evaluate during the procedure, further increasing the odds of a successful patient outcome.
While the landscape of spine surgery is constantly changing, those considering spinal surgery today will benefit most from working with a qualified, highly trained and experienced Beverly Hills spinal surgeon. To learn more about surgeons who are making the most of the available technology and are staying up-to-date in the latest cutting-edge procedures, call The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration at (310) 828-7757. We look forward to hearing from you.