August 10, 2022
Augmented reality for surgery: Doctors perform minimally invasive spinal procedure with AR headset


A posterior lumbar interbody fusion involving a bone graft in an area of ​​the spine was until now a fairly lengthy and invasive procedure. However, Dr. Cornelis Poelstra and his team in partnership with the Nevada Spine Clinic have achieved a feat that can reduce the time taken for surgery to less than two hours. Recently, the team completed the first posterior lumbar fusion procedure on a patient using a combination of Medtronic’s Major X robotic platform integrated with Augmedics’ new FDA-approved XVision.

This involves adding a bone graft to the spine to ensure a biological response, which leads to bone growth between the two vertebral elements. The procedure, which would otherwise have taken about six to seven hours, was completed on this patient in just under two hours. Surgeons used the xvision headset in conjunction with the Mazor X robot to perform the surgery.

The reason it took less time was that the XVision headset allowed the team to more accurately identify and pinpoint the location to place the implant. In this particular case, a proprietary Superalloy MoRe (molybdenum-rhenium) low-profile 4.5 mm rod, coupled with the MiRusEuropa pedal screw system, was placed, according to a report. Med-Tech News,

Before starting the procedure, an orthopedic and neurological spine surgeon uses a robotic platform to pre-plan the precise placement of the implant and screw system, making the procedure efficient and reducing the time taken to perform such surgeries. does less.

After this stage, Dr. Poelstra’s XVision headset takes him into the world of augmented reality, where he follows his own 3D structural blueprints already created through the use of software.

The new procedure has several advantages such as being minimally invasive and highly efficient. It also helps the team to place implants with enhanced precision, thereby reducing the time spent under anesthesia in the operating room.

Dr Poelstra, who holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Groningen, Netherlands, is at the fore and center of the design and development of spinal robotics that assist in spinal fusion. He has performed over 1,000 complex robotic procedures.


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