5 awake spine surgery milestones in 24 months


Awake spine surgery has slowly grown since the beginning of 2022. Here are five milestones to know:

1. Ernest Braxton, MD, performed the first awake robot-assisted transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion in Colorado.

2. Kingsley Abode-Iyamah, MD, performed one of the first robotic-assisted awake spinal fusions in Florida.

3. The first awake spinal fusion with Wenzel Spine's VariLift-LX interbody implant has been completed. The minimally invasive spine surgery was performed by Ahmer Ghori, MD, of Orthopaedics Northeast in Fort Wayne, Ind. 

4. Terence Chen, MD, performed the first awake spine surgery with the ExcelsiusGPS robot at Walnut Creek (Calif.) Medical Center. Dr. Chen performed an intradiscal lumbar interbody fusion on a patient with back issues caused by degenerative discs.

5. Portland-based Oregon Health & Science University has successfully completed its first awake spinal surgery, led by Josiah Orina, MD, associate professor of neurological surgery, and Kevin Blaine, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology. The outpatient procedure, a minimally invasive microdiscectomy, took two hours.

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