Robotics in Spine Surgery  
  Robots in general are not new to medicine. However, new applications of highly sophisticated robotic technologies show significant promise to improve the outcomes of spine surgeries and reduce patient recovery times.

In contrast to the science fiction image of robots as walking, talking replacements for human beings, medical robots are being integrated into the surgical process to help the surgeon become more effective.

Spine surgery requires precision with the goal of limiting manipulation of surrounding tissues. Especially in Minimal Access Surgery (MAS), the visualization and access to the area being operated upon may be limited. Placing a computer enhanced system between the surgeon’s hands and the instruments offers greater surgical precision, increased range of motion, improved dexterity and enhanced visualization.

Robotic “assistants” do not replace surgeons or make surgical decisions. They are simply highly advanced tools to help the surgeon better manipulate instruments with less damage to surrounding structures. The goal is quicker, more efficient and consistent surgeries resulting in less infection, less blood loss, less scarring, shorter hospital stays and, most importantly, more successful operations where pain is significantly reduced or eliminated.

The cost of the technology, training of surgeons and the need for additional research are factors inhibiting the broader and more rapid adoption of robotics in spine surgery.

The National Spine Foundation is committed to developing and researching new applications for robotics in spine surgery, as well as educating spine surgeons on the use of this important new technology.
Close Window