Robotic spine surgery is one of those significant medical advancements with the potential to completely revolutionize the way spine and neurosurgeons approach surgical treatment for their patients. Of course, with every new technology comes a slew of questions. “How does it work?” “Is it safe?” A common question among spine patients these days is, “Is robotic spine surgery right for me?” Let’s explore this question a bit.
What Is Robotic Spine Surgery?
Let’s begin by saying “robotic spine surgery” is a bit of a misnomer. A better terminology might be “robot-assisted spine surgery.” Contrary to common assumptions, the robot doesn’t replace your surgeon. The robot is a tool the surgeon uses, and the surgeon stays in control the entire time. The robotic system uses state-of-the-art navigation technology to provide steady, incredibly accurate placement of the incision and/or implant, making minimally invasive procedures even less invasive, and therefore safer.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Robotic Spine Surgery?
Robotic technology may be used for a variety minimally invasive procedures, many of which are already conducted on an outpatient basis. The most common use of robotics involves spinal fusion procedures as the navigation technology is used for accurate placement of implants. Thus, robot-assisted spine surgery may be a good option for patients requiring spinal fusion for the following conditions:
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal tumors
- Any related condition for which spinal fusion is the recommended treatment
What If I Can’t Remain Still?
Since robotic spine surgery relies on mapping technology based on the patient’s anatomy, some patients raise concerns about their ability to remain in place on the table and whether this could lead to inaccurate placement. At Polaris, we use ExcelsiusGPS, one of the most advanced robotic systems on the market. This system utilizes a powerful GPS-related technology that can adapt and recalculate, responding to a patient’s movements in real time and ensuring accurate placement, even for “moving targets.”
For patients requiring extensive spine surgery or multiple procedures requiring a hospital stay, your surgeon may still opt to utilize conventional methods to perform these procedures. However, if you require a minimally invasive procedure, robotic spine surgery may be right for you. To find out for sure and to learn more about the possibilities of this promising medical advance, call Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center today at 404-256-2633.