Spine Navigation Based on 3-Dimensional Robotic Fluoroscopy for Accurate Percutaneous Pedicle Screw Placement

World Neurosurg. (2017) 108:76-83.

Minimally invasive spine surgery is associated with obstructed visibility of anatomic landmarks and increased radiation exposure, leading to higher incidence of pedicle screw mispositioning. To address these drawbacks, intraoperative 3-dimensional fluoroscopy (io3DF) and navigation are being increasingly used. We aimed to present our dedicated multifunctional hybrid operating room (HyOR) setup and evaluate the accuracy and safety of io3DF image-guided spinal navigation in transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with percutaneous pedicle screw (PPS) placement.

METHODS: The HyOR includes a fixed 3D multiaxis robotic fluoroscopy arm that moves automatically to the preprogrammed position when needed. An initial io3DF assessment is performed to collect intraoperative images, which are automatically transferred into the navigation system. These data are used to calibrate the PPSs and insert them under computer-assisted navigation. A second io3DF is performed for verifying PPS position.

RESULTS: Between January 2014 and December 2016, 66 consecutive patients (age, 58.6  14.1 years) were treated for refractory lumbar degenerative pain. Seventy-three spinal levels were treated, and 276 screws were placed, with 4.2 ± 0.76 screws per patient. There was no measurable radiation to the HyOR staff, whereas the mean radiation dose per patient was 378.3  uGym2. The overall accuracy rate of PPS placement was 99.6%. There were no significant procedure-related complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Spine navigation based on io3DF images enabled us to avoid radiation exposure to the operating room team while delivering minimal but sufficient radiation doses to our patients. This approach achieved an accuracy rate of 99.6% for PPS placement in the safe zone, without significant complications.