Thursday, March 30, 2023

Spinal surgery has made significant advances in the field of navigation and robotics over the last decade, as we’ve reported in previous Jewish Link articles. In conjunction with sound anatomical knowledge and principles, robotic surgery has been successfully applied to spinal surgery, offering patients significant advantages.

In particular with the use of robotic navigation, pioneered in large part by Mazor Robotics of Caesarea, Israel, the use of screws in the spine has been greatly facilitated, with precision and accuracy of placement.

In 2018, Mazor was purchased by strategic partner Medtronic to advance the spinal robotic platform with the original Renaissance system updated to a newer, sleeker system known as Mazor X, and its latest version, the Mazor X Stealth.

The Mazor X Stealth offers precision-based robotic screw placement, with navigational spine backup. Navigational spine platforms allow for a real-time viewing of the screws and/or instruments that are approaching the spinal bone and spinal nerves. This helps to improve accuracy and surgeons’ confidence in screw placement.

At CMD, we have successfully utilized this new system, most recently on a case involving an 83-year-old gentleman who had exhausted all options and needed a spinal fusion. This was done robotically with navigation assistance using the Mazor X Stealth (see photos). The surgery was performed at the Hudson Regional Hospital Institute for Robotic Surgery in Secaucus, New Jersey. HRH is a regional leader in advanced spinal technologies. The patient left the hospital after a few days, without incident! Note that the screws are exceptionally well-aligned, secondary to the robotic and combined navigational platforms.

The next frontier? Our opinion is that it will be virtual augmented spinal surgery. In virtual augmented surgery, a preoperative CT scan is taken of the spinal column, and then that information is transported onto specialized goggles, in which the CT scan appears within the screen of the glasses, enabling real-time feedback in a virtual sense of the surgeon placing the screws. Augmedics, a Chicago-based company with offices in Israel, is leading the way in this technology.

The real win will be when all of the technologies—robotics, navigation and virtual augmentation—will be combined, and that day does not appear to be too far off! 99.9% screw accuracy may no longer be unachievable!

We will keep you posted and we will keep abreast together as we opt for better and safer ways to conduct spine surgery.

If you would like more information or to see our spinal physicians, contact our community liaison, Elianna Kranz at [email protected] or 201-510-3777 for an appointment.

Wishing you the best of health!

By CMD Staff


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