Robotic-Assisted Spine Surgery

The Spine Center now offers Mazor Renaissance robotic spine surgery. Spine Surgeons, Dr. Kevin McCarthy and Dr. Chambliss Harrod, are performing these robotic-assisted procedures at The Spine Hospital of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.

With advanced robotic technology, doctors can now use mechanical guidance to perform spine procedures with unparalleled accuracy, requiring an even smaller incision and making recovery shorter and with reduced pain. Using Mazor Robotics Renaissance, surgeons are able to plan the entire operation using software mapped to the patient’s specific anatomy and diagnosis, before entering the operating room. The robot calculates exact angles and positions according to the surgeon’s blueprint but the doctor is always in full control.

Mazor Robotics Renaissance boasts the title of the first FA-cleared mechanical guidance system for spinal surgery, with accuracy in screw placement of under 1.5mm. Over 23,000 procedures have been performed with this technology, which is available in over 150 hospitals worldwide and growing.

Lower back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, with approximately 31 million Americans experiencing backpain at any given time. There are different forms of conservative treatment: bed rest, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, prescription pain relievers, and interventional pain procedures. While these treatments can be effective, chronic pain can only be truly alleviated by addressing the cause.

With Mazor Robotics, surgeons can better perform minimally-invasive surgeries, with the potential advantages of:

  • Smaller incisions and scars
  • Minimal scaring and destruction of soft tissue
  • Less blood loss during surgery
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Less postoperative pain
  • Less need for postoperative pain medicine
  • Faster return to work and daily activities

Robotic-Assisted Guidance with Renaissance seeks to improve spinal surgery. Improving screw accuracy and placement with higher confidence and safety in difficult areas is a goal in mind, as well as improving screw insertion times; especially in cases of difficult anatomy. Robotic-assistance reduces the use and risk of fluoroscopy, making it safer for not just the patient, but the surgeon as well. The use of robotics isn’t limited, either. It can be used for all levels of difficulty: minimally-invasive procedures, percutaneous and complex/deformity cases.

How It Works

A blueprint of the ideal surgery is created in a virtual 3D environment using a preoperative CT scan of the patient. Next, a mount is attached to the patient’s afflicted area, ensuring maximum surgical accuracy throughout the procedure.

The location of the mount is labeled, such as the L5 vertebral body. After the point is positioned, from this single reference point on L5, the software is able to find and match all the vertebral bodies of the intraoperative fluoroscopy with the preoperative CT. The most unique feature about Mazor’s registration process is that each body is registered independently; this means that the software looks at each vertebral body as its own unique and independent unit, disregarding the differences in intervertebral space.

Once the two fluoroscopy images are synchronized, tools and implants are guided to the planned trajectory with 1.5mm accuracy.


Robotic Spine Surgery Q & A

What is robotic spine surgery?

Technological advances are changing the way doctors treat back ailments. Robotic spine surgery is a minimally-invasive alternative to traditional methods like open surgery.

Robotic spine surgery allows Dr. Kevin P. McCarthy and Dr. C. Chambliss Harrod at The Spine Center of Louisiana to map out your operation in a virtual 3D environment beforehand. They design a surgical blueprint that’s unique to you.

By using technologies to guide your doctor during spine surgery, robotic spine surgery offers a faster recovery time, lower complication rates, and less pain after surgery than open surgery. The result? You can get back to your daily life more quickly.

How is robotic spine surgery different from other spine surgery?

Before the advent of robotic technologies, surgeons performed either open surgery or minimally invasive surgery on your back. Each type of surgery comes with downsides. In open surgery, your surgeon needs to make a large incision to fully expose your spine and see clearly during surgery.

In contrast, minimally-invasive surgery requires smaller incisions—but surgeons can’t see as well through the tiny cuts. As a result, they have to use tools like fluoroscopy (X-ray) images to view their progress. Studies show this makes minimally-invasive surgery less accurate. Plus, prolonged exposure to radiation isn’t good for you.

Robotics technology offers a high degree of accuracy and the advantages of minimally-invasive surgery. During surgery, robotics surgery software guides your surgeon precisely to the area where you need treatment. This type of computer assistance is a big advantage in complex surgeries like scoliosis corrections. Robotic spine surgery is safe, and robotic technology is approved by the FDA.

What does robotic spine surgery treat?

If you have a debilitating spinal condition, talk to the surgeons at The Spine Center of Louisiana to see if you’re a candidate for robotic spine surgery. Here are some of the conditions treated by robotic spine surgery:

  • Scoliosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Kyphosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

Before recommending robotic spine surgery, the medical team at The Spine Center of Louisiana will explore other surgical and non-surgical options to find the treatment plan that’s right for you.

If you’ve been considering back surgery, and wondered whether you might be a candidate for robotic spine surgery, call or schedule an online consultation today with The Spine Center of Louisiana. They take pride in answering all of your questions so you feel confident about your medical decision.