Colin Haines and Christopher Good, spine surgeons at Virginia Spine Institute, Virginia, USA, have performed the world’s first spinal surgery using combined endoscopic and robot-guided technology. The inaugural procedure was conceived by this team of experts out of a need to modernise a traditional spinal fusion with endoscopic decompression.
The combination of the state-of-the-art technologies reduces procedure time and creates a more efficient surgical solution. Benefits include pre-operative planning and improved surgical accuracy, a small incision and less risk of infection, decreased intra-operative radiation, less anaesthesia and shorter hospital stay, improved patient safety, and reduced postoperative pain and recovery time.
After suffering with severe low back pain for nearly 40 years, the patient was diagnosed with isthmic spondylolisthesis and symptomatic stenosis, and first underwent a minimally invasive anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF). The procedure was followed by a minimally invasive posterior surgery where, through a less than 1cm incision, the spine surgeons utilised the joimax endoscope to perform a foraminotomy to eliminate pressure on the spinal nerves. The endoscope (high-resolution camera) allowed for access to the nerves with magnification while sparing muscle and tissue disruption. After decompression of the nerves, the surgeons utilised Mazor X robot guidance technology to perform a minimally invasive instrumentation and fusion to stabilise the unstable spondylolisthesis.
“Achieving this milestone in spinal healthcare sets a new benchmark focused on improving patient outcomes,” says Colin Haines, spine surgeon and director of research at Virginia Spine Institute. “Combining these technologies opens the door to treating more complex spinal conditions through less invasive surgical approaches.”
“Our research has shown that procedures performed with Robotic Guidance utilising Mazor Core Technology improve safety for patients having spine surgery and decrease radiation to patients in the operating room,” says Christopher Good, spine Surgeon and president of Virginia Spine Institute. “We are proud to lead the next chapter of advancements that utilise technology and surgical skill to more efficiently facilitate spinal procedures.”