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Surgical Robot Uses Preoperative CT Scans of Patients to Plan out Spinal Fusions

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 18 May 2022
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Image: MAZOR X Stealth Edition is a robotic guidance system for spinal surgery (Photo courtesy of Medtronic)
Image: MAZOR X Stealth Edition is a robotic guidance system for spinal surgery (Photo courtesy of Medtronic)

As personalized medicine continues to garner more importance in the field of health care, orthopedic surgeons use advances in imaging technology, coupled with the latest robotics capabilities, to improve the likelihood of achieving successful outcomes for patients undergoing spinal surgery. By utilizing robotic systems and other advanced technologies, many spine surgeries may be performed in a minimally invasive fashion, which is associated with numerous advantages including: less damage to muscles, reduced blood loss and operative time, decreased complication rates, quicker recoveries, and ultimately better clinical outcomes. Now, a novel technology allows orthopedic surgeons to upload preoperative CT scans of patients into a next generation robotic platform to plan out the procedure in advance and calculate trajectories of implants for spinal operations like fusions, which allows for the placement of screws more safely and accurately.

The Mazor X Stealth Edition from Medtronic plc (Dublin, Ireland) offers a fully-integrated procedural solution for surgical planning, workflow, execution and confirmation of spine surgeries. With features such as customizable implant selection, optimal implant trajectories and 3D analytics, planning allows surgeons to work towards construct optimization and make the procedure predictable. The revolutionary new technology uses cutting-edge software to plan the surgical procedure, then uses a robotic arm to guide implants and instruments through the steps of the surgical process with precision, while simultaneously using real-time imaging feedback to ensure the plan is being carried out as desired.

The Mazor X Stealth Edition operates on three principals: first, the surgeon can plan and visualize the surgery beforehand to study multiple levels and the entire process; second, the robotic guidance system will be an extension of the doctor during the process and is intended to enable execution with precision; and third, the doctor can visualize progress in real-time. State of the art registration and mechanical stability are critical to establish robotic precision. The Mazor X platform secures a closed-loop connection between the bed-mounted robotic arm, the patient secured on the bed, and a rigid fixation between the robot and patient’s skeletal anatomy. The robot is table mounted for a small OR footprint.

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