Image guided spine surgery is exceptionally sophisticated yet, one of its benefits is simple—safer surgery. How? Image guided surgery empowers your surgeon to pre-plan your surgery three-dimensionally (3D) days before it is performed and obtain real time images during your surgery.
Before and during surgery
Image guided spine surgery entails using a high-performance computer system, medical algorithm software, high-resolution monitor, cameras, and unique instruments. All of these specialized components are designed to work together.
- Days before your surgery, CT scans and/or MR images are uploaded into the computer. Using software with built-in medical algorithms, the computer transforms the films into 3D images. Because the images are digital, your surgeon can rotate any image, zoom in or enlarge a portion of the image, mark up the image—in some ways, functioning like a multi-faceted photo editing program.
- During surgery—in real time, image guidance assists your surgeon navigate your anatomy, select the size of an implant, and plot the trajectory of bone screws. Of course, image guidance assists in other ways too. Monitors designed for use in the operating room allow your surgeon to see beyond the operative field. In other words, anatomy or instrument placement that may be outside his direct view. Image guidance allows your surgeon to chart, direct and view each step of your surgery.
Image guided spine surgery affords surgeons and their patients many potential advantages.
- Spinal anatomy is complex. In addition, certain spinal disorders can change the shape of the spine (i.e., scoliosis, spondylolisthesis). Image guidance enhances your surgeon’s ability to see and navigate through anatomical challenges during pre-operative surgical planning and in real time.
- Image guidance can assist your surgeon in taking accurate measurements important to selecting instrumentation size (i.e., screw length and diameter).
- Spinal instrumentation can be more precisely implanted.
- The surgeon can see his surgical instruments in relation to the the patient’s anatomy.
- Operative time can be reduced.
- In some cases, it minimizes or eliminates radiation exposure.
Talk with your neurosurgeon
We hope this information about image guided spinal surgery has answered your immediate questions. Remember, your neurosurgeon is your most valuable source to answer your questions about symptoms, treatment and your healthcare.