DePuy Synthes launches Kick portable spine imaging system


Image-guided surgery systems that provide real-time guidance for minimally invasive spine surgery can help improve patient outcomes, but these systems are costly for many hospitals. Surgeons may rely on checking implant placement with multiple static X-ray images that do not provide the real-time guidance of navigation. A new visualisation option from DePuy Synthes Spine—the Kick system with FluoroExpress software module—being showcased at the North American Society Spine Meeting (NASS; 26–29 October, Boston, USA), aims to improve access to affordable advanced imaging technology so that surgeons can confirm proper placement of spinal implants while saving time in the operating room.

Research has shown that only 11% of spine surgeons in North America and Europe use advanced imaging technologies, even though image-guided spine surgery helps achieve accurate screw insertion and reduces the likelihood of revision surgery to adjust screw placement. DePuy Synthes Spine has partnered with navigation company Brainlab to expand access to advanced visualisation through the Kick system. According to a press release, this image-guided surgery technology enables real-time intraoperative viewing of instrumentation and implants relative to patient anatomy to permit proper pedicle screw placement. Using a small, portable infrared camera with a computer and monitor, the system moves between operating rooms and works together with existing X-ray equipment to support surgical workflow. The monitor displays up to four different X-ray images at one time to make X-ray equipment repositioning to capture different views unnecessary–ultimately reducing radiation exposure and surgery time.

The Kick system is compatible with the Viper system and the Expedium spine system of implants, enhancing visualisation during minimally invasive and open procedures to treat a broad range of spinal disorders.

In recognition of the need to broaden access to image-guided surgery in spine, the AO Foundation’s technical commission approved the use of the Kick system in AO education courses. The system is the first advanced visualisation technology in spine to be approved by the AO Foundation, providing an opportunity for more surgeons around the world to be trained on image-guided surgery.