Power vs. manual tools for scoliosis surgery — 5 things to know

Written by Laura Dyrda | March 09, 2015 | Print  |

Do power tools help during scoliosis correction surgery?

A study recently published in Spinal Deformity examines the efficacy of pedicle tract creation and screw placement using power tools. The researchers examined 442 studies that included 6,412 pedicle screws.


Manual tools were used in 159 cases — 1,870 screws — and power tools were used in 283 cases — 4,542 screws. The screws were considered failures if the patient returned for revision surgery or had the screws removed.


The researchers found:


1. There were no injuries from screw placement in the manually placed screws, and one injury involving screw placement with the power tools. That one screw was assumed to have caused a minor hemothorax, which was treated successfully.


2. There were no neurologic or vascular injuries attributed to the pedicle screws in either group. None of the pedicle screws caused other complications, either.


3. Screws placed with power were six times less likely to need to be revised than screws placed manually because of problems attributable to the pedicle screw: two  of 1,410 (0.14 percent) versus eight of 948 (0.84 percent) (p=.024).


4. Fluoroscopy time was two-thirds as long in the power tools group than in the manual screw group.


5. There was no significant difference in operating time between the two groups.


More articles on spine surgery:
How SI joint fusion compares to non-surgical treatment: 5 key notes
5 things to know about adult spinal deformity surgical revision rates
Dr. John Jacquemin joins Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers

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