Spinal surgery has experienced much technological innovation over the past several decades. The field has seen advancements in operative techniques and equipment such as computer-assisted navigation and surgical robotics. With the arrival of real-time image guidance and navigation capabilities along with computing ability, it has helped to process and reconstruct the data into an interactive 3-Dimensional spine map.
The applications for intra-operative navigation using O-Arm or 3D C-Arm and image-guided robotics have now expanded to surgical resection of spinal column and intradural tumors, revision procedures on arthrodesed spines, and deformity cases with distorted anatomy. Additionally, these platforms help in reducing much of the harmful radiation exposure to which the patient, surgeon, and operating room staff are subjected.
Spine surgery relies upon meticulous fine motor skills to manipulate neural elements and a steady hand while doing so, often exploiting small working corridors and utilizing exposures that minimize collateral damage. Additionally, the procedures may be long and arduous, predisposing the surgeon to both mental and physical fatigue. In light of these characteristics, spine surgery may actually be an ideal candidate for the integration of navigation and robot-assisted procedures.
We are currently using these latest technologies at our hospitals to help patients of spine surgery in achieving faster recovery, minimal hospital stay and blood loss, smaller incisions and early return to work thereby making spine surgery very safe, precise and accurate.
The writer, Dr. Rajesh K Verma, is a Director Orthopaedics, Joint Replacement & Spine Surgery at Narayana Superspeciality Hospital in Gurugram