5 things to know about robotic spine surgery

Written by Shayna Korol | December 19, 2018 | Print  |

Using robotic technology for pedicle screw placement may lead to consistently accurate results. However, spine surgeons should remain vigilant about confirming robotic-assisted screw trajectory, according to an article in Spine.

Study authors systematically reviewed 32 articles on robotic-assisted pedicle screw placement. Here are five study findings:

1. Robotic-assisted intrapedicular screw placement accuracy was comparable, if not superior, to freehand spine surgery.

2. Compared to conventional freehand surgery, robotic-assisted surgery had longer operative time.

3. Radiation exposure appeared to be variable between different studies. Radiation time decreased in the robot arm as the total number of robotic cases increased, suggesting a learning curve effect.

4. Multilevel procedures tended to result in earlier discharge in patients undergoing robotic spine surgery.

5. Surgeons should be mindful of confirming robotic-assisted screw trajectory, study authors conclude, as drilling pathways have been demonstrated to be altered by soft tissue pressures, forceful surgical application and bony surface skiving.

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