• A New Tool for Back and Spine Surgery

    Surgical Services

    October 2, 2016

    GPS-like technology offers precise treatment, quicker recovery

    O-arm RESIZED.jpgMost of us think of a Global Positioning System (GPS) as a tool for navigating to a geographic location, but surgeons at Bassett are using a GPS-like device—called O-arm Surgical Imaging System—to perform extremely precise procedures for patients undergoing back and spine operations. The system gives surgeons a 360-degree scan of a patient’s changing anatomy during surgery. Back and neck operations have conventionally been performed as open surgeries with a long incision, but recent technological advancements have paved the way for less invasive surgical techniques that prevent damage to muscles that surround the spine, resulting in less postoperative pain and faster recoveries for patients.

    The machine is positioned as a ring around the patient’s body in the operating room and has the ability to open and close, so the patient doesn’t have to be moved during the procedure. It rotates and captures both 2D and 3D images and can take nearly 400 images in less than 30 seconds.

    The technology allows surgeons to guide and track instruments through the body in real time. Its accuracy is ideal for hardware or other implants frequently placed during back and neck procedures, ensuring more precise placement. In the past, surgical teams have relied on CT scans, MRIs or X-rays taken prior to surgery for anatomical images to guide hardware placement.

    “The apparatus allows us to accomplish more accurate surgery through smaller incisions and, eventually, it will save time and reduce the number of revision surgeries,” explains Mark J. Hornyak, MD, chief of neurosurgery at Bassett. “We now scan patients before they leave the operating room to make sure hardware is properly placed ... for patients, it means less time under anesthesia and a quicker recovery.”