Johns Hopkins image-guided robot performs 1st spinal screw insertion: 5 observations

Written by Shayna Korol | January 17, 2018 | Print  |

 

Surgeons at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore used a real-time, image-guided robot to insert screws into a patient's spine for the first time.

Here's what you need to know:

 

1. The new robotic surgery aims to make the procedure 100 percent accurate. Current image-guided surgical procedures require the surgeon to look back and forth between the patient and image, causing imperfect screw placement.

 

2. Nicholas Theodore, MD, professor of neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Neurosurgical Spine Center of Johns Hopkins Medicine, invented the robot to assist in surgical procedures. He maintains a financial interest in the technology.

 

3. The robot allows surgeons to point to a spot on the CT scan of the patient and tell the robot to aim for that spot. The robot is connected to a camera that reads landmarks on the patient, so the robot processes what the camera "sees" with the CT image in real time.

 

4. The biggest concern in procedures of this type is intraoperative patient movement, but the robot can sense changes in position and will adjust itself.

 

5. The first procedure was performed on a woman who suffered a spine injury from a fall at home. In a video, she claimed to feel significantly better after the surgery.

 

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