Baltimore spine surgeons tag-team landmark lateral fusion with robot


Paul Asdourian, MD, and Paul McAfee, MD, are reportedly the first spine surgeons in the mid-Atlantic region to perform a lateral lumbar interbody fusion with the ExcelsiusGPS system, ABC affiliate WMAR Baltimore reported June 15.

The surgeons, operating at MedStar Orthopedic Institute in Baltimore, used the robot to make a side incision and replace two discs in a 55-year-old patient who had been suffering from degenerative disc disease and arthritis in the lower back.

Typically, surgeons access the spine through the abdomen or a large incision in the back. Instead, Drs. Asdourian and McAfee used the robot to safely remove the damaged discs and insert spacer bone grafts to separate vertebrae, which lifted pressure off the pinched nerves, according to the report.

"Going in through the patient's side means you don't have to cut through as many muscles or surrounding tissue, there's significantly less blood loss and the incision is smaller," Dr. McAfee, a pioneer of the lateral lumbar interbody fusion technique, told WMAR Baltimore.

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