Written by Laura Miller | Tuesday, 19 November 2013 12:31
Operating RoomChetan K. Patel, MD, moderated a symposium about robotics and navigation in the spine surgeon's operating room at the North American Spine Society Annual Meeting.
Defining its use. Srinivas K. Prasad, MD, gave a presentation titled "Critical Analysis of the Latest Robotic Technologies in Spine Surgery." He discussed the history of robotics in surgery and gave an overview of the various robotics paradigms and innovation.
"Going into it, we have to ask ourselves — like all technologies — what are the real questions? What are we trying to solve here?" he said. "We have to ask ourselves what would robotic technology be useful for in spine surgery. Those [questions] have to guide us, in a sense, to what procedures would be done better or more efficiently in spine surgery." He discussed the potential benefits of using robotic technology or navigation, including improved pedicle screw placement, reduced placement time, less invasive procedures which lead to less pain and blood loss, as well as reduced fluoroscopy use. However, more questions remain to better define the objectives of the robotic technology.
"Are we looking at specific maneuvers like arthrodesis? Are we looking at putting screws down? Is it looking at just doing a better job at decompression? Are we going to be developing robots that allow us to do a better job at these maneuvers? Are we going to see deformity robots, tumor robots; in other words, robots that are designed around a clinical domain within spine surgery or are we going to make them more procedure-based?" he said. "That is an important question to ask going into it."
Most of the innovation right now in robotics is on pedicle screw placement. "I think some of the reason for the resistance or biased against it is it's just allowing you to...