A Guide in Spinal Surgery Navigation

August 12th, 2018 - Posted to Spine

In the course of their lives, individuals have a more than 85% chance to, at one point, suffer from some type of back pain, more specifically what is known as Low Back Pain. Even with such increased odds of having to deal with a certain type of back affection, it is only in about 10% of the cases that the cause of the problem is exactly pinpointed.

Because of its precision and accuracy, computer-guided surgery was first introduced in neurosurgery, but the advantages of this method have allowed it to transition into the field of spinal issues, with its various degrees of complexities.

The technique of spinal navigation, as it is often referred to, has known valuable improvements over the last 3 decades, offering a better treatment experience to both surgeons and patients.

When Surgical Advanced Technology Helps

The premise upon which computer-guided spinal surgery operates is to obtain the same results as a traditional open back surgery would provide while significantly minimizing damages and risks during the procedure, such as harming the soft tissues and muscles around the area of intervention or fracturing ligament attachments.

More and more, surgical advanced technology is trusted by both doctors and patients to treat various conditions, including:

  • scoliosis
  • tumour
  • herniated discs
  • degenerative discs
  • spondylolisthesis
  • osteomyelitis
  • spinal stenosis

Even if computer-assisted surgery is definitely on the rise, as technology continues to offer the medical field gradually expanding solid ground, not all patients qualify for this type of intervention. Ultimately, a comprehensive discussion with your physician should determine what would be the best possible approach for the best possible outcome.

How Surgical Advanced Technology Helps

Spinal surgery that is computer-assisted represents, at its most basic, an endoscopic procedure that uses specially designed cameras and equipment to be inserted through tiny incisions in order to perform the wanted surgery.

It should be noted that in no way does the apparatus make up for any skills of the surgeon. Both technology and physician have to be entirely prepared for such intervention to be considered at all. A few notable improvements offered by computer-guided surgery include:

  • minor incisions
  • less radiation exposure
  • less time in the operating room
  • accurate corrections

The way in which a computer-assisted surgery occurs is by operating its specialized software in order to construct a virtual 3D model mimicking the patient’s spine that can be modified and readjusted while the surgery is taking place. Therefore, the surgeon is able to consult in real-time images that are accurate to the anatomy of the patient.

The Benefits of Spinal Navigation

The computerized procedure allows for a higher rate of precision when compared to the more conventional open back approach. The mobility of the equipment permits the surgeon to perform in a way the bare hand simply makes it impossible. Among the benefits of a computer-assisted spine surgery would be:

  • a clearer perspective of the area to be operated
  • pushing aside soft tissue instead of cutting it
  • less scarring
  • less blood loss
  • lower risk of infection
  • minimized radiation exposure
  • short hospital stay
  • reduced postoperative pain

Regardless of the type of surgery that you are going to have, it is important to be fully prepared not only physically, but psychologically as well. It is in your best interest to make sure that your doctor is informed of any other conditions that you have so that the appropriate course of action could be taken.